38 Charged With Drug and Weapons Violations
JUN 13 -- Gregory A. White, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Christopher P. Sadowski, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); and Michael McGrath, Chief, Cleveland Division of Police, announced today that a federal grand jury returned 17 indictments charging 38 individuals with various federal drug and weapons violations.
In the first indictment, the following 22 individuals were charged in Count 1 with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute phencyclidine (PCP):
Additionally, the foregoing individuals were charged with substantive violations of either distributing PCP (Counts 2-11 and 14-24) and/or possessing PCP with the intent to distribute the same (Counts 12, 13, 25, and 26); unlawful use of a communication facility (Counts 27-38), which in this case was the use of various cellular telephones; interstate travel in aid of the conspiracy to distribute PCP (Count 41); and individuals with prior felony convictions who were found to be in possession of firearms (Counts 39 and 40).
Specifically, the indictment alleges beginning at least as early as January 2005, and continuing through May 2007, the previously named defendants were involved in a conspiracy to distribute PCP primarily in the neighborhoods surrounding Hough and Amesbury Avenues. Conspirators included those individuals who were involved in obtaining the PCP in California and bringing the same to Cleveland, Ohio, down to those individuals responsible for distributing the PCP on the street corners. The indictment further alleges that many of the defendants were or are members of the Hough Heights street gang.
Additionally, 16 individuals were separately indicted for drug and/or weapons charges. All of the drug sales occurred within a geographic area where members of the Waste 5 gang are known to associate, also known as the 10-5 and Wasteland.
The following individuals are charged with distribution of crack cocaine: Antonio Baker, age 22, of 10817 Bryant Road, Cleveland, Ohio; Adrian Griffin, age 28, of 10313 South Boulevard, Cleveland, Ohio; Stephan Hall, age 21, of 10613 Earl Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio; Brad Hamilton, age 27, of 598 East 108th Street, Cleveland, Ohio; Steven McKenzie, age 21, of 10813 Hathaway Road, Cleveland, Ohio; Steve Robinson, age 23, of 10519 Hampden Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio; Decarlo Sanders, age 25, of 14105 Strathmore Street, East Cleveland, Ohio; Darron Smiley, age 18, of 10813 Hathaway Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio; Michael Smith, age 24, of 10833 Bryant Avenue, Apartment 11, Cleveland, Ohio; Stephane Stevens, age 37, of 12308 Phillips Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio; and Clyde Woods, Jr., age 20, of 10523 Elgin Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio.
The following three (3) individuals are charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm: Eric Bolden, age 35, of 10624 Gooding Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio; William Ellington, age 41, of 1101 East 113th Street, Cleveland, Ohio; and Latiss Jackson, age 32, of 1466 East 114th Street, Cleveland, Ohio.
The following individual is charged with possession and transfer of unregistered destructive devices: Michael Brown, age 49, of 11234 Parklawn Drive, Cleveland, Ohio. The following individual is charged with distribution of heroin, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and using or carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking offense: Darryl Johnson, age 33, of 425 East 152nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio.
These investigations were conducted under the control and direction of the national Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program in conjunction with the Cleveland Comprehensive Anti-Gang Initiative (CAGI). United States Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales selected Cleveland as one of six sites from across the country to implement his comprehensive strategy. By integrating law enforcement, prevention, and prisoner re-entry, the Cleveland CAGI aims to address gang membership and gang violence at every stage. “The lawlessness that drug traffickers and gangs propagate presents a grave threat to public safety,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Christopher Sadowski. “ATF is proud to be a member of this anti-gang initiative and we are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to ensure that law abiding citizens are protected from armed narcotics traffickers that terrorize our communities.”
The investigative agencies and departments participating in the foregoing investigations and the CAGI are as follows: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Cleveland Division of Police (CPD), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office, Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Police Department, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) Police Department, United States Marshals Service, Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force, and Ohio Department of Corrections, Security Threat Group. Other law enforcement agencies and departments assisting in today’s arrest include: Cleveland Heights Police Department, Euclid Police Department, Shaker Heights Police Department, Linndale Police Department, Coast Guard, Social Security Administration, HUD, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendants’ prior criminal record, if any, the defendants’ role in the offenses and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
The indictments were presented to the grand jury by Assistant United States Attorneys Ronald B. Bakeman and Kelly L. Galvin.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.