Thirty-nine people indicted for trafficking heroin in Mansfield
Thirty-nine people were indicted in federal court for their roles in two separate conspiracies to obtain large amounts of heroin, and in some cases, other drugs, from out of state and sell the drugs in Mansfield, law enforcement officials said.
Eighteen people are charged in a 41-count indictment with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. The defendants are all from the Mansfield area unless otherwise noted. They are: Lennon Hayes, 44; Roberto Calderon, 36, of Chicago; Demond Steele, 45; Tara Jones, 29; Edward Jones, 39, of Chicago; Mazzarney Hardy, 39, of Maywood, Illinois; Michael Ginn, 28; Steve Hollins, 42; Cupree Howard, 39; Marcus Garmon, 32; Ashley Kriedman-Crider, 28; Rickell Fields, 24; Marrico King, 40; Terrance Jones, 27; Natasha Brookins, 34; James Alexander, 32; Vanness Oliver, 39, and Jacquis Mordica, 26.
In a different case, 21 people are charged in a 33-count indictment with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine and marijuana. The defendants are all from the Mansfield area unless otherwise noted. They are: Kevin Burton, 41; Antoine Jefferson, 39; Damon Slaughter, 41, of Westerville; Lewis Pinkston, Jr., 40; Brian Nowell, 44; Dorthea Burton, 34; Larry Ferguson, 41, of Louisville, Kentucky; Ericka Fortner, 27; Shadawn Smith, 25; Corey Motley, 36; Bronson Jones, 43; Deon Gamble, 34; Willie Feagin, 62; Jon Martel Jefferson, 30; Keith Maddox, 36; Amanda Huffman, 28; Michael Sloan, 60; Shantia Crawford, 27; Cardoves Haslett, 34; Shakela Williams, 23, and Joe Ware, 20.
In one conspiracy, Lennon Hayes and Edward Jones obtained large amounts of heroin from Roberto Calderon in Chicago and then sold it in the Mansfield area. This took place between June 2015 and the present, according to the indictment.
Hayes and Jones sold the heroin to other dealers, including Demond Steele, Tara Jones, Mazzzarney Hardy, Michael Ginn, Steve Hollins, Cupree Howard, Marcus Garmon, Ashley Kriedman-Crider, Rickell Fields, Marrico King, Terrance Jones, Natasha Brookins, James Alexander, Vanness Oliver and Jaquis Mordica, according to the indictment.
Members of the conspiracy used their residences in Mansfield for the purposes of storing and selling the heroin, including: 575 Crescent Ave. (Hayes and Tara Jones), 278 South Main Street (Hardy), 371 2nd Ave. and 743 Bowman Ave. (Edward Jones) and 204 Linden Road (Hollins and Cupree), according to the indictment.
Hayes, Jones and others used firearms and other weapons to protect their drug trafficking activities, according to the indictment.
In a different conspiracy, heroin, cocaine and marijuana was obtained from suppliers in Columbus and California, then resold in Mansfield and Louisville, Kentucky.
Kevin Burton obtained large amounts of cocaine from Antoine Jefferson. Burton sold the cocaine and also cooked some of it into crack cocaine. Burton and Lewis Pinkston also obtained large amounts of heroin from Damon Slaughter in Columbus, according to the indictment.
Burton sold the drugs to other dealers in the Mansfield area, including Pinkston, Brian Nowell, Dorthea Burton, Larry Ferguson, Corey Motley, Bronson Jones, Deon Gamble, Willie Feagin, Jon Martel Jefferson, Keith Maddox, Amanda Huffman, Michael Sloan, Rochelle Arrington, Shantia Crawford, Cardoves Haslett, Shakela Williams and Joe Ware, according to the indictment.
Some of the heroin and cocaine was later transported to Louisville and sold by Dorthea Burton and Larry Feguson, according to the indictment.
Members of the conspiracy used their residences in Mansfield for the purposes of storing and selling the drugs, including: 160 Reba Ave. (Burton and Fortner), 642 Johns Ave. and 461 Busch Ave. (Maddox), 708 Carol Lane (Jones), 1520 Silver Lane (Jefferson) and 35 West Arch Street (Motley), according to the indictment.
Burton, Maddox, Jefferson, Ware and others used firearms to protect their drug trafficking activities, according to the indictment.
“These groups brought heroin into Mansfield from out of state, sold it from houses in neighborhoods with families and used firearms to protect their operations,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “Law enforcement did a tremendous job in dismantling these organizations.”
“These 39 individuals were involved in a violent drug trafficking organization right here in middle America -- Mansfield, Ohio,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. “Law enforcement will continue to work together and use every tool in our tool bag to rid our communities of dangerous drugs, and firearms, and hold these criminals accountable.”
Richland County Sheriff Steve Sheldon said: “Federal and local law enforcement are working together to combat the opioid epidemic in Richland County from many fronts. This investigation focused on the ones distributing heroin and drugs which are killing people in our community.”
“The collaborative efforts between local law enforcement and our federal partners has made a significant impact on drug trafficking within our communities,” said Mansfield Police Chief Kenneth Coontz. “We plan to continue this effort by targeting more dealers polluting our community. I would also like to thank the many law enforcement agencies that assisted METRICH and the FBI in order to make this a successful operation.”
DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy Plancon said: “Putting a stop to the efforts of this dangerous group, that was distributing large quantities of heroin and cocaine into the community, is a victory for the residents of Mansfield. In DEA, we understand the importance that drug prevention and drug treatment, play in fighting the current opioid epidemic, but we also recognize that putting a permanent dent into the supply of these poisons will help to reduce addiction rates and ultimately overdose deaths.”
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after reviewing 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.
These indictments are the result of investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, METRICH Enforcement Task Force, Mansfield Police Department, Richland County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshal Service, with assistance from the Richland County Prosecutor’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Vasile Katsaros is prosecuting the cases.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.