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Press Release

Three indicted for drug conspiracy involving thousands of THC cartridges used with vaping devices

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

Three people were indicted in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy to distribute THC.

Indicted are Frank Altieri, 25, of Brooklyn, Florida; and David Bruell, 28, of Pepper Pike, Ohio, and James Campbell, 35, of Boynton Beach, Florida. They are each charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute tetrahydrocannabinol and one count of possession with intent to distribute tetrahydrocannabinol.

Prosecutors are seeking to forfeit nearly $1.5 million seized during the investigation.

According to court documents:

Campbell came to Cleveland to engage in narcotics trafficking, and met with Altieri on April 11 at a Holiday Inn Express, where they transferred numerous boxes containing THC cartridges. Campbell then drove to a house on Elsetta Avenue in Cleveland, where he understood the boxes of THC cartridges would be removed and picked up.

During surveillance of the house on Elsetta, a Nissan Altima arrived at the home and people in the car were believed to move the boxes into the home. A subsequent search of the home on Elsetta resulted in the recovery of approximately 5,888 THC cartridges, according to court documents.

A search of Bruell’s residence on Brandywood Drive in Pepper Pike resulted in the recovery of additional THC cartridges and cash. The same Nissan Altima seen at the home on Elsetta was at the Pepper Pike home, according to court documents.

A subsequent search of Bruell’s CubeSmart rental units in Columbus and Warrensville Heights resulted in the recovery of marijuana and at least 1,700 THC cartridges, according to court documents.

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.

This case was investigated by the Cleveland OCDETF Strike Force, including representatives of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Cleveland HIDTA, Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department, Medina County Sheriff’s Office, Montville Township Police Department and the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret Sweeney.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt.  The burden of proof is always on the government to prove a defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.       


Mike Tobin

Updated May 9, 2019

Drug Trafficking