12 charged in alleged drug ring that operated from Mexico to Middletown

Published: Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 12:37 PM

Kate middletown

Middletown police special operations officers along with county, state and federal law enforcement agencies announced Thursday the conclusion of a yearlong investigation into a large-scale drug trafficking and money laundering operation that stretched from Middletown throughout Ohio and extended as far as the West Coast.

According to the city officials, the investigation gained ground when, in August 2017, the Middletown Special Operations Division, along with Ohio State Highway Patrol, seized five kilograms, or about 11 pounds, of heroin and fentanyl. The drugs seized that day had a street value of $1.4 million, and the investigation traced the source to drug trafficking by the Sinaloa Drug Cartel in Mexico.

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During the entire investigation, which included the Ohio Highway Patrol, the Warren County Drug Task Force, Cincinnati police, the Preble County Prosecutor’s Office and the FBI divisions in Cincinnati, Cleveland and San Diego, large quantities of drugs, money and weapons were seized.

As a result of the federal investigation and seizures, a federal grand jury has charged 12 individuals in a narcotics and money laundering conspiracy in a superseding indictment unsealed in Cincinnati on Thursday. Members of the group allegedly distributed fentanyl from Mexico in Middletown and sent proceeds back to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel in Mexico.

In addition, 40 defendants have been charged in San Diego, and additional defendants have been charged in Columbus, the Eastern District of Kentucky, the District of Kansas and the Eastern District of Washington.

Those charged in the Cincinnati case include:

  • Jose Chavez-Meraz Chema, 55, Mexico
  • Rolando Chavez-Garcia, 24. Mexico
  • Favrisio Orozco-Meraz Favi, aka Gordo and Gordito, 34, Mexico
  • Raul Trejo Duende, 52, Middletown
  • Donte Holdbrook Jay, 24, Middletown
  • Mariela Penaloza, 25, Cleveland
  • Charleston Quinn Buddy, aka Buddy Rowe, 34, Mason
  • Frank Frazier, Jr., 24, Middletown,
  • Jesus Diaz Chuy, Chewey, 47, Ontario, Calif.
  • Jettie Bailey, 23, Middletown
  • Christopher Watkins, 23, Trenton
  • Courtney Bailey 24, Middletown

The superseding indictment details that the Ohio drug trafficking organization primarily conducted fentanyl sales in Middletown and received the narcotics from Mexico via Chavez-Meraz. The drugs would initially enter the United States at locations in California and Arizona, where “drug mules” would then retrieve the drugs for transport to southern Ohio.

When a sizeable amount of drug proceeds had been collected, the co-conspirators would arrange bulk cash transports back to Mexico, officials said. Investigators witnessed at least seven bulk cash pick-ups within the Southern District of Ohio, six on Tivoli Lane in Cincinnati and one at a Comfort Inn and Suites in West Chester. Transactions ranged from $25,000 to more than $180,000.

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Firefighters put out car fire in Dayton

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 4:49 AM

Dayton police and fire responded to calls of a car fire in the parking lot of Dayton Supply and Tool Sunday.

The call came in around 3:40 a.m. at the location of 140 N. Keowee St. in Dayton.

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The driver of the vehicle was the only one involved and not injured.

The cause of the fire was not known.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Sunshine today, rain and snow later this week

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 12:35 AM

Sunshine returns Sunday in the Dayton area, with the chance for rain and snow returning later in the week.

Mostly sunny skies are expected today, which will be a nice day with highs in the lower 50s, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said.

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  • Sunny and nice today
  • Rain returns Monday evening
  • Chance for snow Monday night/early Tuesday

>>Live Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


Tonight: A few more clouds are expected overnight as temperatures drop into the lower 30s.

Monday: Clouds will increase through the day with highs in the lower to middle 50s. The chance for rain returns in the evening, and with temperatures falling past sunset, a few wet flakes may mix in as well.

>>County-by-County Forecast 

Tuesday: A few lingering snow showers or a wintry mix will be possible early. Mostly cloudy skies are expected with highs in the lower to middle 40s.

Wednesday: The chance for any snow looks small, but can’t be ruled out. It’ll be a cold day with highs in the upper 30s.

>>Severe Weather Guide

Thursday: Partly sunny skies are expected with highs in the lower 40s.

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No injuries reported in shots fired at K-9 Club in Dayton

Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 1:35 AM
Updated: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 1:35 AM

UPDATE @ 1:59 a.m.:

There were no reported injuries in a reported shots fired incident at K-9 Club in Dayton. 


Crews are on scene of a reported shots fired at K-9 Club in Dayton located at 5100 Germantown Pike, according to regional dispatch.

The call came in around 1:15 a.m. Sunday, per initial reports.

We have a crew on scene and will update this page as information becomes available. 

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California Girl Scout sells 312 boxes of cookies near pot dispensary

Published: Tuesday, February 06, 2018 @ 8:09 AM

Girl Scout Sells More Than 300 Boxes of Cookies Near Pot Dispensary

Never underestimate the marketing innovation of today’s youth.

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A 9-year-old Girl Scout in California discovered a strategic spot to sell cookies -- in front of the Urbn Leaf marijuana dispensary in San Diego, The San Diego-Union Tribune reported.

The girl and her father, whose identities are not being revealed, said they sold 312 boxes of cookies in a few hours during Super Bowl weekend, KGTV reported. The girl did not set up on the property of the dispensary, but was in plain view of the building, KGTV reported.

So customers craving Thin Mints, S’mores or Samoas had a convenient place to buy them.

However, the dispensary posted a photo on Instagram showing the girl with boxes of cookies in front of the business.

“Get some Girl Scout Cookies with your GSC today until 4 p.m.! Have a friend that wants to #tagalong? Bring them with -- shopping is more fun with friends anyways," the company wrote on the Instagram post. "GSC" refers to a product flavored like Girl Scout Cookies, KGTV reported.

California has legalized recreational marijuana for sale and consumption, but selling the cookies outside a dispensary has drawn criticism with some calling it bad parenting, the Union-Tribune reported.

A spokesman for the Girl Scouts said there are rules for selling cookies outside businesses. Mary Doyle, the organization’s communications director, told the Union-Tribune in a statement that Girl Scouts can set up booths outside businesses if they get a permit from the owner and sell between Feb. 9 and March 11. She added that a marijuana dispensary is not an approved site for booth sales.

But since the girl had cookies loaded in a rolling cart, was staying on the sidewalk and was accompanied by an adult, she was technically within the rules, Alison Bushan, a spokeswoman for Girl Scouts San Diego, told the Union-Tribune. 

"So if that's what they say they were doing … then they were right within the rules," Bushan told KGTV.

Bushan said Girl Scouts can only sell cookies on “walk-abouts” in neighborhoods. Urbn Leaf is located in a commercial zone, the Union-Tribune reported.

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