59 Charged with Illegal Trafficking, Possession, and Use of Firearms, Drug Trafficking, and Conspiracy as a Result of Summer Violent Crime Reduction Effort in Cleveland
AKRON – First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler announced that Ronald Smith, 39, of Akron, was charged in a 22-count indictment with dog fighting, drug trafficking and illegal possession of a firearm.
The indictment charges Smith with 15 counts of possession and training of dogs for the purposes of an animal fighting venture; conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute a controlled substance; distribution of a controlled substance; possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance and felon in possession of a firearm.
According to the indictment, Smith owned and maintained two residential properties on Fultz Street and Herman Avenue in Akron, Ohio.
In April and May of 2022, the indictment states that Smith possessed items used to train and prepare dogs for participation in dog fighting, including two treadmills designed for dogs; a caged rabbit placed in front of a treadmill; performance-enhancing and first-aid-related dog medication; numerous "break sticks" spattered with blood and bearing teeth marks and a walled pit spattered with blood at the Fultz Street and Herman Avenue residence.
In addition, the indictment states that authorities recovered eight pit bull-type dogs from the Fultz Street residence and seven pit bull-type dogs from the Herman Avenue residence.
Smith was also charged with illegal possession of three firearms and participating in a conspiracy to possess and distribute oxycodone, fentanyl and fentanyl analogues.
Smith is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to previous convictions of aggravated assault, burglary, possession of cocaine, trafficking heroin, having weapons under disability and disrupting public services in the Summit and Medina County Courts of Common Pleas.
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.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after a review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum, and in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General (USDA OIG), Akron Police Department and the Summit County Sheriff's Office. Assistance was provided by the United States Marshals Service (USMS) and the Humane Society of Summit County (HSSC).
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brad J. Beeson and Marc D. Bullard.