Jail phone calls record inmate running drug ring

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CLEVELAND (WJW)-- The FOX 8 I-Team now has recordings from jail phone calls showing how an inmate ran a drug ring on your streets.

The tapes helped take down the prisoner overseeing the operation, as well as eight others.

Cuyahoga County prosecutors said Ricardo Dean was arrested on a case, but he kept supervising drug deals with heroin and fentanyl.

On the recordings, you hear Dean say, “I ain’t gonna stop" and, “I’m still gonna make money while I’m resting (locked up in jail).”

The tapes show Dean concerned with the amount of drugs, the movement and even the quality.

In one conversation, he can be heard computing, “Like 1,800 apiece? 1,850 apiece?” In another, “Like, what is it? Yellow? That’s that yellow ....”

“He was instructing friends, family members to continue the drug trafficking operation," Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Marc Bullard said.

Prosecutors said they teamed up with Cleveland police to go through 130 hours of jail phone calls and police hit the streets.

“Turned into additional defendants arrested, indicted and successfully prosecuted. Additional drug seizures. Additional weapons taken off the streets," Bullard said.

You might wonder why anyone up to no good would talk about it on a phone line at the jail. Every inmate call gets recorded and everyone on the line hears a warning about that.

“That’s just a necessity of somebody that’s trying to maintain control of a business," Bullard said.

For this, prosecutors said Dean was sent to prison for 10 years. Others got six years and less. Prosecutors said Dean’s relatives were captured on some of the calls. One can be heard saying, “If you ain’t with us, you against us, right?”

Investigators found drug dealers involved in this had even taken over the home of an addict to be used for selling drugs.

Dean can also be heard saying, “Ain’t gonna never see me sweat. I’m still up.”

In the end, an entire group ended up trapped with the help of the tough talk on tape.

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