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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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Coroner’s office responds to crash in Dayton

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 5:07 AM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 5:43 AM

Scene of fatal accident on Danner Avenue in Dayton

The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office responded to a crash in Dayton early Monday morning.

The crash was reported at 2:50 a.m. at the intersection of Danner Avenue and Richley Drive. 

>> Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center

This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

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Woman trapped in vehicle for over an hour after Oakwood crash critically injured

Published: Friday, June 15, 2018 @ 1:33 AM
Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2018 @ 11:32 AM

Injury crash reported in Oakwood

UPDATE @4:40 a.m. 5/18/18 

Ra Shonda M. Fears, 46, of Dayton, remains in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital.

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UPDATE @ 11:30 a.m. 5/17/18

Ra Shonda M. Fears, 46, of Dayton remains in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital after a vehicle crash Friday morning left her trapped for over an hour in Oakwood.

UPDATE @ 4:45 p.m. 6/16/18 

The Dayton woman trapped in her car for more than an hour after she hit the center concrete island and overturned on Far Hills Avenue at Old River Trail is fighting for her life.

The driver, identified as 46-year-old Ra Shonda M. Fears by the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Dayton Post, remained in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital.

The crash is under investigation and Fears has not been cited, troopers said.

UPDATE @ 5 a.m. 6/15/18

A woman was headed north on Far Hills Avenue when she hit the center concrete island early Friday and flipped her vehicle onto its top at Old River Trail in Oakwood.

She was trapped for almost an hour, and crews had to use a wrecker to life the car and free her.

The woman was in critical condition when she was taken to Miami Valley Hospital.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Dayton Post is investigating the single-vehicle crash reported around 1:15 a.m. Troopers said speed in this 35 mph zone may have played a factor.

The crash shut down Far Hills Avenue in both directions, but southbound lanes were opened at 3 a.m. and all lanes were open at 5 a.m.

UPDATE @ 3:01 a.m. 6/15/18

A woman was taken to Miami Valley Hospital with injuries considered life-threatening following a crash in Oakwood early Friday.

Troopers said speed appears to be a factor in the single-vehicle crash. It’s unknown if drugs or alcohol played a part.

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Southbound Far Hills Avenue is now open. Northbound lanes remain closed.

UPDATE @2:25 a.m. 6/15/18

A driver that was trapped for over an hour in an overturned vehicle has been extricated.

A wrecker had to lift the car so crews could free the driver, according to our crew on the scene. The driver was taken to a local hospital with unknown injuries.

FIRST REPORT

Crews are working to extricate a woman trapped in a car following a crash in Oakwood.

The crash was reported around 1:15 a.m. in the area of Old River Trail and Far Hills Avenue. The car is upside down, and crews have been unable to make contact with the trapped female driver.

>> Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center

Far Hills Avenue is closed in both directions.

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

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Jay-Z, Beyonce release joint album ‘Everything is Love’

Published: Saturday, June 16, 2018 @ 6:57 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)
Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS
File photo. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)(Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NARAS)

Nearly a week after Beyonce and Jay-Z began their “On the Run II” tour, the artists released a joint album, sending the internet into a frenzy. 

>> Read more trending news

Titled “Everything Is Love,” the nine-track recording made its debut on Jay-Z’s streaming service Tidal Saturday evening.

The couple released a music video for one of the songs, too. 

Beyonce also took to Instagram posting some album images, including the cover art, which garnered more than 350,000 likes in 30 minutes.

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

The release had been heavily speculated about after Jay-Z announced the couple were recording together in November.

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2 in custody after cruiser struck, pursuit in Dayton

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 2:01 AM
Updated: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 3:12 AM

2 in custody following pursuit in Dayton

A pursuit that started when a pickup truck struck a cruiser ended in Dayton early Monday morning with two in custody.

The pursuit started shortly before 1:30 a.m. in the area of Germantown and Gettysburg when a black Chevrolet Silverado reportedly struck a deputy’s cruiser.

>> Miami Valley’s Most Wanted

The pursuit ended around 1:50 a.m. in the area of Gettysburg Avenue and Frytown Road. Two people, a man and woman, are in custody.

No injuries were reported.

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