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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Six People Charged with Bringing Crystal Meth to Cleveland from California

Six people were indicted in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy to bring crystal methamphetamine from California and sell it in Cleveland, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Named in the six-count indictment are: Chauncey D. Dennis, 35, Michael J. Coolidge, 51, and  Ross Cipolla, 49, all of Cleveland; Aja S. Brown, 33, of Van Nuys, Calif.; Christian Joe Villasenor, 32, and Hazel Hamilton, 28, both of Los Angeles.

Dennis, Coolidge and Cipolla obtained the crystal meth from Brown, Villasenor and Hamilton in California, then redistributed the drug in Cleveland between August and October 2014, according to the indictment.

Dennis sent money orders to dealers in Los Angeles and Van Nuys, Calif., who in turn mailed packages containing crystal meth to Dennis at 10121 Unity Ave., Upper Unit, in Cleveland. On Sept. 15, Coolidge picked up the drugs from Dennis and delivered them to Cipolla at a storage facility at 6000 Clark Ave. in Cleveland, according to the information.

Count 1 charged all six for their roles in the conspiracy.

Count 2 charged Cipolla with possession of GHB with intent to distribute.

Counts 3 and 4 charged Dennis and Brown with using a communication facility to facilitate a felony, while Counts 5 and 6 charge them with conducting financial transactions involving proceeds from unlawful activity.

The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret Tomaro, an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Ohio. The case was investigated by U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the court after a review of the federal sentencing guidelines and factors unique to the case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation.

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.

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Updated March 18, 2015