CLEVELAND (WJW) — After a two-year federal and local drug investigation, authorities have charged more than a dozen people from across Ohio in a fentanyl trafficking conspiracy in Cleveland and Wayne County.
All but three of the 18 total suspects have been arrested. Some were arrested early Thursday morning then taken to face charges in Cleveland’s federal court, according to a news release from First Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Baeppler, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Wayne County’s Medway Drug Enforcement Agency.
“While so many of us have been working tirelessly to make our communities a safer and better place to live, the defendants charged in these indictments have been doing otherwise,” Baeppler is quoted in the release. “Today’s indictments and arrests reflect the resolve of law enforcement at all levels to hold drug traffickers accountable and return our neighborhoods to a better tomorrow.”
Seventeen people were charged with drug trafficking offenses in a 36-count federal indictment:
- Charles Daniels, 45, in state custody
- Deandre Wilson, 46, in federal custody
- Jason Johnson, 46, in state custody
- Blaze Cody Mclaughlin, 32, in federal custody
- Anthony Ray Lies, 40, of Rittman
- Nicholas Knapik, 39, in state custody
- Jordan Jarvis, 34, in state custody
- David Stark, 45, in state custody
- Roger Stark, 44, of Wooster
- Sebastian Yeagley, 32, of Wooster
- Cody Smith, 28, of Wooster
- John Harig, Jr. 43, of Wooster
- Caleb Smith 30, in state custody
- Elijah Goshen 31, of Cleveland
- Cassandra Vojacek, 40, of Perry
- Chad Anderson, 38, of Columbus
- Blake Nowak, 45, of Burton
Here’s a breakdown of the allegations against each defendant:
Prosecutors allege Daniels between October 2020 and February 2023 recruited drug dealers from Wayne County to buy fentanyl from his sources, including Wilson and Johnson, to distribute throughout the Northern Ohio federal court’s jurisdiction. He coordinated the conspiracy from a jail, Baeppler said Thursday.
Wilson and Johnson then sold fentanyl to Wayne County drug dealers at a discounted price, and Daniels directed those street dealers to the two defendants.
Also charged in a two-count indictment with distributing methamphetamine is Markus Ellison of Wooster, who’s now in state custody.
Johnson was also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
“Our unending commitment to this community is to work relentlessly in collaboration with our law enforcement partners at every level, bringing every combined resource to bear with the unified mission to deliver those persons to justice who contribute to this deadly scourge” Joshua Hunt, director of the Medway Drug Enforcement Agency, is quoted in the release. “I’m immensely proud of the collective achievements born from this 2-year investigation, while I also remain dedicated to ensuring that this important work continues well into the future.”