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Man found shot to death part of drug case

A Springfield man found shot to death Friday night on West Jefferson Street is connected to a large-scale drug operation in Clark County that has ties to Mexico.

Ebonyuwezo Jones, 36, has been identified as the victim of the Aug. 31 shooting, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office confirmed Monday.

It was just before 10 p.m. Friday when Springfield police reportedly found Jones’ body lying in the middle of the 800 block of West Jefferson Street. Witnesses reported hearing multiple shots and a car was found parked on the curb nearby. Police called in additional units from nearby law enforcement agencies after a large crowd formed and reportedly tried to enter the taped-off crime scene.

Jones was included in a 19-count indictment handed up by a Clark County grand jury on Aug. 19 for his connection to a drug operation Springfield police had been investigating since September 2012. He was expected to be arraigned on those charges last Friday in Clark County Common Pleas Court. Two others — Pedro Arriaga-Reyes and Leroy Lewis III— are co-defendants and were arraigned Thursday.

Between May and August, Springfield police executed 11 search warrants in undisclosed locations in Springfield, Clark County and Dayton as part of the drug investigation. Police Chief Stephen Moody called Arriaga-Reyes a “major mid-level dealer” supplying large quantities of cocaine, heroin and marijuana to drug traffickers, which allegedly included Jones. It’s believed Arriaga-Reyes was getting the drugs from Mexico.

Police said Arriaga-Reyes allegedly supplied a kilogram of cocaine to Jones in June. At Jones’ arrest on June 20, he was in possession of more than 1,000 grams of cocaine, according to the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office. Jones was indicted on two counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, two counts of drug possession, two counts of drug trafficking, and one count each of conspiracy to commit a crime, having a weapon as a felon and money laundering.

Officers executed search warrants at at his home at 1517 W. Pleasant St. and his a barber shop at 1334 W. High St. in Springfield. They seized a large amount of cash, digital scales and two guns, according to court records.

Jones was previously indicted on July 22, before his two co-defendants, on similar charges and posted the $100,000 bond issued. Assistant Prosecutor Andrew Picek said those charges were connected to the new indictment and would be rolled into this case.

Clark County Prosecutor Andrew Wilson said he could not comment on any connection to Jones’ death and the indictment.

Arriaga-Reyes remains in the Clark County Jail on $5 million bond, while Lewis is being held on $250,000.

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