Cleveland and the Caribbean Gang Task Force
Cleveland, OH- On April 20, 2003, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio and the member agencies of the Cleveland Caribbean Gang Task Force (CGTF) announced the indictment of eighteen defendants for Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin in the Cleveland, Ohio area. The investigation involved an interstate heroin distribution ring operating from Florida to Northern Ohio. A federal indictment was also returned in the Southern District of Florida charging five additional defendants with Conspiracy to Distribute Heroin.
This long-term investigation involved the most sophisticated law enforcement investigative techniques including court-authorized wiretaps. The CGTF is comprised of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in the Cleveland area that coordinate investigative responsibilities and resources. This coordinated effort has led to numerous investigations being prosecuted by the United States Attorneys Office for the Northern District of Ohio. The indictment of these eighteen defendants should significantly impact the flow of heroin from Florida and New York into the Northeast Ohio region. These defendants face a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison if convicted of the federal charges.
"The impact that these types of joint investigations are having on the drug trade in the Cleveland area are some of the most significant I have seen in this region of the country," said Anthony Marotta, Assistant Special Agent in Charge for DEA operations in Ohio.
"Mr. White and his staff at the United States Attorneys Office in Cleveland have been extremely supportive of the DEA and the Caribbean Gang Task Force, which has facilitated great working relationships between law enforcement throughout Cleveland. This has resulted in the successful prosecution of the region's most significant drug traffickers," said Reginald Cheney, Resident Agent in Charge for the DEA Cleveland Office.
Member agencies of the Caribbean Gang Task Force include: