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Court docs: Middletown ‘drug ring’ suspects also ran murder-for-hire plot

Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 @ 9:55 AM

Chris Newcomb says when he looked out his window he saw SWAT team in Middletown as part of search warrant servings on Monday, May 6, 2019.

Federal court documents from the cases of six people facing drug trafficking charges in what Middletown police have called a “drug ring” outline an alleged operation beginning in 2018 to not only distribute heroin and fentanyl but also hire out for murders. 

Middletown police last week announced indictments against Benwan Edwards of Miamisburg, Marqui Conley (aka “Keyman”) of Middletown, Joseph Lee Singletary Jr (aka “Joker”), Will Dan Owens V of Middletown, Hailey Perry Meeks of Middletown and Tyrese Antonio Robinson (aka “Moneybags”). All are charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to possess and possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

MORE: 6 face federal indictments in Middletown ‘drug ring’ investigation

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Edwards, Owens and Meeks are in custody, but U.S. Marshals and local police continue to look for the other three suspects.

According to the federal indictment, a group identifying itself as “ALL STATE” was based in Middletown with a primary source of revenue from storage, production, distribution and transportation of a heroin/fentanyl mixture.

“It was part of the conspiracy that the defendants and others used stash houses to store fentanyl mixtures, narcotics processing and package materials and monies obtained through illegal sale of controlled substances … in order to avoid detection,” according U.S. District Court documents.

“As part of the conspiracy (the defendants) used cellular telephones to facilitate their illegal drug business, that they spoke in code or veiled reference to narcotics business while using cellular telephones.”

The police presence in Springboro is connected to the six-month Middletown drug ring investigation, Warren County Sheriff?€™s Maj. Steve Arrasmith said.

The suspects purchased, borrowed and rented cars in order to facilitate the illegal business and carried firearms to carry out the business but also “intimidate rival drug dealers and to punish anyone who stood in the way of their conspiracy,” according to the indictment.

MORE: Middletown man arrested in alleged ‘drug ring’ has been charged 61 times

In the indictment, which is the result of a multi-agency, joint investigation, 44 alleged acts from Oct 14, 2018 to May 6, 2019 are outlined. Most allege drug dealing and collection of money owed to the operation. But on two occasions, Edwards and Conley talked about a murder for hire and getting people “knocked the (expletive) off for stepping in my lane,” according to the documents.

In federal court documents filed May 2 for the arrest of Edwards and Conley, investigators outlined “hits” the duo was allegedly connected to.

Conley and Edwards “provided money on different occasions over the last few years for ‘hits’ to be placed on (four men),” the court document states.

Two of the people named were shot to death, one was arrested and is in jail and the other was shot but survived.

In April, an unnamed person told investigators Edwards offered him $60,000 cash to “shoot up” a Middletown police officer’s police car as retribution for the officer being involved in numerous traffic stops of vehicles containing “ALL STATE” members, according to the court document.

There are no charges currently against any of the defendants for murder of any killings.

The Middletown Division of Police and federal and local partners ask that anyone with information on the whereabouts of the above wanted persons or other drug dealers call 513-425-7701 or 513-425-7749.