Jury convicts five from Northeast Ohio for conspiracy to rob stash house and sell drugs
Five men from Northeast Ohio were convicted of multiple crimes for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute heroin and cocaine and use firearms to rob what they believed to be a drug stash house.
A jury convicted Kali Alexander, 24, of Willoughby Hills, Rasheam Nichols, 24, Justin Maxwell, 26, Terrance Chappell, 22, and Kenneth Flowers, 21, all of Cleveland, on all 11 counts. They are scheduled to be sentenced in September.
Alexander recruited the other defendants to steal up to nine kilograms of cocaine from a stash house in Cleveland. The group planned to rob the stash house, then Alexander would sell the stolen cocaine and split the profits, according to court documents.
Alexander met with an undercover ATF agent last year and expressed an interest and willingness to commit the robbery. “I promise you, I know what I’m doing, I’m about to holler at my big brother, then we going to orchestrate it from there,” according to court documents.
Alexander, Nichols, Maxwell, Chappell and Flowers met with the ATF undercover on September 3, 2014, and discussed the strategy for the robbery. Then the five men drove to agreed-upon location in anticipation of acquiring a specific vehicle to use during the robbery, at which point they were arrested, according to court documents.
The indictments are the result of “Operation Samson II,” an initiative last summer in which 60 people were indicted and 110 firearms were seized. To date, 58 of the 60 people have been found guilty.
“This operation was like a vacuum cleaner, sucking up illegal firearms from the streets of Cleveland,” said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach.
"There is no place in our society for those who use firearms for violent, criminal purposes," said Donald Soranno, Special Agent in Charge of ATF's Columbus Field Division. "ATF will continue to work with our law enforcement partners at every level to bring those individuals to justice."
This initiative was a cooperative effort between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Cleveland Division of Police, the Ohio Adult Parole Authority, the U.S. Marshals Service, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.