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Press Release

Grand jury indicts men allegedly involved in murder of DEA task force officer

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

DAYTON – Three local men previously charged by criminal complaint in connection to the shooting death of Dayton Police Detective and DEA Task Force Officer Jorge Del Rio have now been indicted by a federal grand jury.


Nathan S. Goddard, Jr., 39, is charged with nine counts, including deliberately killing Det. Del Rio, conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and distribute fentanyl, cocaine and marijuana, assault of a federal officer by inflicting bodily injury through the use of a deadly weapon, brandishing and discharging a firearm resulting in death by murder during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime, and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.


Cahke Cortner, 39, and Lionel Combs III, 40, are each charged with five counts, including conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and distribute fentanyl, cocaine, and marijuana, andbrandishing and discharging a firearm resulting in death by murder during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.


Combs is additionally charged with maintaining a drug premises at 1454 Ruskin Road in Dayton. Cortner is additionally charged with carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime.


The charges are a result of a shooting that took place during the execution of a federal search warrant during the evening of Nov. 4.


Between mid-July and late-October 2019, the DEA’s Dayton resident office conducted an investigation into a Dayton-based fentanyl operation.


As a result of that investigation, Goddard was named as an alleged source of supply of narcotics and a federal search warrant was subsequently authorized for 1454 Ruskin Road.


At approximately 6:50pm on Nov. 4, DEA and Dayton Police executed the search warrant. After announcing themselves, officers entered the home and Det. Del Rio descended the stairway to the basement of the residence. The officer immediately came under gunfire from the basement and was struck by the gunfire.


In the residence, authorities discovered three firearms. Approximately ten kilograms of fentanyl and cocaine were located in a duffel bag. Containers containing 50 to 60 pounds of marijuana were discovered in the basement. Approximately $11,000 in cash was spread out on a coffee table, and more than $40,000 in cash was located in a duffel bag in a storage area under the stairs.  


Five counts pending against Goddard are potentially punishable by the death penalty.


“There are many crimes that, if committed, one forfeits his right to live in a free society. And then there are the rare, few crimes that are so abhorrent to a free society that one is subject to forfeiting his right to exist at all,” said U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers. “Goddard has been accused by a grand jury of the latter.”


The drug conspiracy in this case is punishable by a mandatory minimum of 10 years to life in prison. The brandishing and discharge of a firearm resulting in death by murder during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime is punishable by an additional mandatory minimum of 10 years up to life in prison, and by death. Congress sets the minimum and maximum penalty ranges for all offenses charged.


David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias H. Heck, Jr. have agreed to proceed federally at this time. Should it later be deemed appropriate, a state indictment could be sought. Mr. DeVillers and Mr. Heck agreed to commit both Assistant United States Attorneys and Assistant Montgomery County Prosecutors to the trial team regardless of jurisdiction. 


They are joined by Dayton Police Chief Richard S. Biehl; Keith Martin, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); Joseph M. Deters, Acting Special in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; and Jonathan McPherson, Special Agent in Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in announcing the charges. Assistant United States Attorneys Dominick S. Gerace and Brent G. Tabacchi, and First Assistant United States Attorney Vipal J. Patel, are currently representing the United States in this case.


An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.


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Updated November 14, 2019

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime