20 indicted for Cleveland-area heroin, fentanyl ring


CLEVELAND– Twenty people have been indicted for their roles in a ring that brought heroin, fentanyl and cocaine into the greater Cleveland area.

The U.S. Department of Justice said some of the people named in the 51-count indictment have ties to the Sinaloa cartel. The suspects funneled the drugs into Cuyahoga County from Chicago and Yonkers, New York between 2010 and 2016, according to the indictment.

“In an environment where overdose deaths have become daily news, halting this group’s ability to distribute these very lethal drugs into our community is a victory for all citizens of northern Ohio,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Plancon said in a statement on Wednesday.

Investigators seized 29 kilograms of cocaine, 6 kilograms of heroin, 1 kilogram of fentanyl, $400,000 and several firearms.

The following people were indicted:

Ismael Jacinto Acosta, 37, of Cleveland Heights
Alfonso Rodrigo, 36, of Warrensville Heights
David Urrabazo-Maldonado, Jr., 29, of Madera, Calif
Tennille Bryant, 36, of Yonkers, N.Y.
James Carver, 36, of Yonkers, N.Y.
Van Herron, 34, of Cleveland
Jose Hernandez, 55, of Chicago
Octavio Rodrigo, 60, of Maple Heights
Juan Carlos Solis, 26, of Chicago
Mario Amador-Ramirez, 52, of Cleveland
Roland Francisco Rivera-Erazo, 32, of Honduras
Maurice Walker, 31, of Cleveland
Manuel Maldonado, 37, of Lyndhurst
Reinaldo Hernandez, 27, of Cleveland
Cesar Zambrano-Espinal, 27, of Cleveland
Kelvin Zambrano, 27, of Cleveland
Jonathan Stepp, 32, of Cleveland
Ryan Miller, 33, of Cleveland
Nancy Vargas, 33, of Tolleson, Ariz.
Margaret Fernandez, 35, of Warrensville Heights

The indictment accuses Zambrano-Espinal of stashing drugs at a house on West 130th Street in Cleveland. Rodrigo used a house on Maple Heights Boulevard in Maple Heights to store and sell drugs, the indictment said.

Rodrigo and Fernandez used money from drug sales to buy homes through the Cuyahoga County forfeited land sale, and face three additional counts, the Justice Department said.

“Sadly, the death toll continues to mount from this epidemic. Daily we mourn as parents bury their children and children bury their parents. In response, we will continue to aggressively target drug traffickers, while working just as aggressively to reduce the demand for drugs and to provide treatment for those already addicted,” U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon said.