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Press Release

Seven from Stark County indicted for cocaine conspiracy

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

Seven Stark County men were indicted in a 13-count federal indictment for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine in the Canton area, law enforcement officials said.                            

Indicted are: Derrick L. Walton, 40; Gregory N. Burns, 41; Jon A. Herring, Jr., 34; Dwight A. Martin, 25; Michael Patterson, 30; Jermaine L. Woodson, 36, all of Canton, and Robert L. Morrow, 45, of Massillon.

All seven are indicted in count one with conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute cocaine and cocaine base (crack). Count two charges Morrow with being a felon in possession of ammunition, and counts three through 13 charge Burns, Woodson, Martin, Patterson, and Herring with use of a telecommunication facility to facilitate a drug trafficking offense.

The defendants engaged in a conspiracy between 2012 and the present in which they received cocaine and crack cocaine from James Walton, according to the indictment.

“These defendants are part of a group that packed guns and sold drugs in neighborhoods with impunity,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

“These seven individuals will now be joining their co-conspirators behind bars,” said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland office. “Prior to this morning’s efforts, law enforcement had seized over nine kilograms of cocaine, 15 firearms, and cash and assets in excess of $400,000 -- all proceeds of the drug trafficking conducted in this investigation.”

“This case is the result of continued dedication by federal, state and local law enforcement in this community,” said Canton Police Chief Bruce Lawver. “We have focused on the most violent individuals responsible for irreparable harm done to our neighborhoods.”

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Teresa L. Riley following an investigation by the Stark County Safe Streets Task Force. The task force includes members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Canton Police Department, Alliance Police Department, Jackson Township Police Department and the State of Ohio Parole Authority.  The Ohio State Highway Patrol also assisted with the investigation.

This indictment is the second in this investigation which has resulted in 21 convictions to date. James Walton was previously indicted and is awaiting trial.

If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the Court after 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 violations.  In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.

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.

Updated June 9, 2015

Drug Trafficking