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Press Release

Seven people indicted for conspiracy to traffic heroin and cocaine in Warren and Youngstown

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Ohio

A federal grand jury returned a 48-count indictment charging seven people for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin in the Warren and Youngstown areas.

Indicted are: Thomas I. Sledge, 38, of Youngstown; Preston D. Sims Jr., 33, of Akron; Levar A. Johnson; 41; Khalef K. Freeman, 37; James A. Lipscomb, 40; Christopher L. Williams, 39, and Lajuna R. Brown, 30, all of Warren, with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and heroin.

The indictment alleges the defendants conspired to distribute cocaine and heroin in the Warren and Youngstown areas between September 2017 through June 2018.

Sims allegedly supplied heroin to Sledge, who in turn supplied it to Johnson, Freeman, Lipscomb, Williams and Brown for distribution in Youngstown and Warren, according to the indictment.

Sledge obtained cocaine from a source and supplied it to Freeman for distribution in Warren and Youngstown, according to the indictment

The indictment further alleges Sledge distributed cocaine in the fall of 2017.

The indictment also alleges Sledge, Sims, Johnson, Freeman, Lipscomb, Williams and Brown used a communication facility in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime between January and March 2018.

“These defendants are charged with seeking to profit from the drug epidemic that has plagued all of Ohio and hit the Mahoning Valley particularly hard,” U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. “We will seek long prison sentences for people who bring cocaine, heroin, and other illicit drugs into our neighborhoods.”

If convicted, the defendants’ sentence 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 investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by Drug Enforcement Administration and  the Warren Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David M. Toepfer.

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.


Mike Tobin

Updated June 6, 2019

Drug Trafficking