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News Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 24, 2003

International Drug Ring Broken In Cleveland

photo- cocaine seizedCleveland, OH- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), United States Attorney's Office for Northern Ohio Eastern District, Cleveland Police Department, Bay Village Police Department, Lakewood Police Department, and the Western Enforcement Bureau (WEB) announce the dismantling of a sophisticated cocaine trafficking ring. This organization was headed by Canadian citizens operating out of Mexico smuggling large quantities of cocaine concealed in vehicles to the Cleveland, Ohio area.

On January 24, 2003, Investigators received information that a red ford pick-up truck containing eight kilograms of cocaine was to be located at a hotel in Cleveland. Members of the listed law enforcement agencies coordinated resources and established surveillance of this location. Two subjects were identified leaving the hotel driving the described red pick- up. The subjects were subsequently arrested and eight kilograms of pure cocaine was seized, which had been concealed in the vehicle's engine compartment. Follow-up investigation resulted in the arrest of two additional defendants at the same hotel. The four individuals arrested and federally charged with Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine include:

  • Frank WIEBE, 24 yoa, Canadian citizen, living in Mexico
  • Cornelius NEUFELD, 22 yoa, Canadian citizen, living in Mexico
  • Henrich WIEBE, 20yoa, Canadian citizen, living in Mexico
  • Isaac FRIESEN, 31 yoa, Canadian citizen, living in Mexico

"During my career I have seen some of the best investigations start at the local law enforcement level with good old fashioned police work and turn into something very significant. This is no exception and DEA is extremely proud to work with the agencies involved in this investigation and we look forward to more success in the future", said Gary Oetjen, DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the DEA offices in Ohio.

"This case is another example of law enforcement working together and sharing intelligence to have the greatest possible impact on drug trafficking groups in the Cleveland area. DEA and the residents of the Cleveland area are fortunate to have such professional and dedicated local law enforcement personnel", said Reginald Cheney, DEA Resident Agent in Charge of the DEA Cleveland Office.

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