You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Police find kilos of drugs

Clark County trafficking tied to Mexico, prosecutor says.


A nearly year-long investigation into what police called a large-scale drug trafficking operation in Clark County with ties to Mexico resulted in indictments against three men, including one held on $5 million bond.

Pedro Arriaga-Reyes, Ebonyuwezo Jones and Leroy Lewis III were named in the 19-count indictment by a Clark County grand jury. Charges included possession of drugs, money laundering, drug trafficking, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and conspiracy.

It’s one of the largest drug operations busted in Clark County in recent years. Clark County Assistant Prosecutor Andrew Picek said it’s uncommon to find an individual handling multiple kilograms of cocaine here. When purchased on the street, buyers only receive a few ounces, Picek said.

The Springfield Police Division’s narcotics squad had investigated Arriaga-Reyes since September 2012, believing he was supplying large quantities of cocaine, heroin and marijuana to drug traffickers in and around Springfield, said Chief Stephen Moody.

“He’s a major mid-level dealer,” he said.

Between May and August, Springfield police, with the assistance of the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office, Champaign County Sheriff’s Office and German Twp. police, executed 11 search warrants in undisclosed locations in Springfield, Clark County and Dayton, Moody said.

One of those locations was the Mi Jalapeño restaurant, where Arriaga-Reyes worked as a server. The restaurant voluntarily closed temporarily after the search and following an inspection by the Clark County Combined Health District regarding several health violations. However, officers found no drugs there.

Several restaurant patrons on Thursday said Arriaga-Reyes was a good server, even requesting him by name. Moody said it’s possible Arriaga-Reyes used the job to blend in.

“He’s living here in our community, working here in our community,” Moody said of the drug operation. “So he’s fitting in, blending in the community and also trafficking in large amounts of cocaine.”

Lewis and Jones allegedly purchased drugs from Arriaga-Reyes by the kilo. He allegedly supplied a kilogram of cocaine to Lewis in 2012 and another to him in May 2013. He also allegedly supplied a kilogram of cocaine to Jones in June.

It’s believed Arriaga-Reyes was getting his drugs in Mexico, Picek said.

When Lewis was arrested May 21, he was found to be in possession of more than 250 grams of cocaine. At Jones’ arrest on June 20, he possessed more than 1,000 grams of cocaine, Picek said.

Police also confiscated seven firearms and more than $50,000 in cash, and seized five vehicles.

The investigation is ongoing, Moody said, and the narcotics division is working on drug cases from Arriaga-Reyes’ “position in both directions” to make arrests.

“Unfortunately there’s always someone there ready to step up and take his place because of the cash flow and the money being made,” Moody said.

Arriaga-Reyes and Lewis were arraigned Thursday. An illegal immigrant, Arriaga-Reyes has a high risk of flight because of his connections outside the U.S., Picek said, and a “significant number of assets not seized” yet by authorities. His bond was set at $5 million.

Lewis’ bond was set at $250,000. Jones, who was indicted previously and posted a $100,000 bond, will be arraigned on the new indictment today in Clark County Common Pleas Court.

Moody said with crimes like this, ultimately it’s the neighborhoods that suffer. That’s why citizen tips are so key in rooting out drug crime.

“(The neighborhoods) are the people who have to live with the traffic and the increased noise and trash, the thefts from their vehicles and their homes,” he said.

“Hot Spot Cards,” which can be obtained at the police station, Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Elderly United Services, allow citizens to make anonymous reports on criminal activity. They can also call police at (937) 324-7716 to make a report.

“We need the community’s help in these efforts,” Moody said.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

U.S. overdose deaths doubled from 1999; Ohio in Top 5
U.S. overdose deaths doubled from 1999; Ohio in Top 5

The rate of fatal overdose deaths in the United States has more than doubled since 1999, rising from 6.1 deaths per 100,000 people to 16.3 deaths per 100,000 in 2015, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. RELATED: Employers track medication use to combat abuse That was faster than the rate of suicides...
Clark County Municipal Court cases
Clark County Municipal Court cases

CASES CALLED THURSDAY INCLUDED: Bonnie Jean Arnold, 40, of 816 W. High St., use and possession of drug paraphernalia, guilty, 30 days jail, credit for time served. Jerry Lee Bennett, 44, of 2744 Upper Valley Pike, #34, child endangering, dismissed. Clifford Cowan Jr., 39, of 1884 Clay St., violation of temporary protection order amended to menacing...
Eric Elwell: More wild temperature swings expected in March
Eric Elwell: More wild temperature swings expected in March

You’ve likely heard the weather lore, “in like a lion, out like a lamb,” or vice versa when referring to the month of March. The saying came from the normal idea that March is normally such a changeable one in which we can see warm spring-like temperatures or late-season snowstorms. But it seems like we have jumped ahead a month with...
What time will President Trump speak before Congress? What will he say; is it live-streamed?
What time will President Trump speak before Congress? What will he say; is it live-streamed?

President Donald Trump will speak before a joint session of Congress on Tuesday, where, according to the White House, he will touch on plans for overhauling the tax code and talk about repealing and replacing Obamacare. Trump will also reassure Americans that he won’t seek any changes to Social Security or Medicare, administration officials said...
State: More than 100 non-citizens have voted in Ohio
State: More than 100 non-citizens have voted in Ohio

A total of 821 non-citizens have registered to vote in Ohio over the past five years — 126 of whom actually cast ballots — Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced today. Husted’s office has since 2013 reviewed election data to identify non-citizens on voter rolls. The 386 non-citizen voters found this year are added to 145 in...
More Stories