Feds charge 8 people for roles in ‘sophisticated’, local fentanyl distribution ring

DAYTON — Eight people are facing federal charges for their alleged roles in a fentanyl distribution ring in parts of the Miami Valley and southwest Ohio, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

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A federal grand jury handed up the indictment Tuesday, where federal investigators said the group moved 14 kilograms of fentanyl for the purpose of reselling it in Clark, Greene, Hamilton and Montgomery counties, a DOJ spokesperson said in a media release Wednesday.

“The 13-count indictment alleges that between December 2020 until June 2021, the defendants used a network of sellers in southern Ohio to distribute kilogram quantities of opioids from supply sources in Mexico and the western United States. The co-conspirators allegedly used a series of properties throughout southern Ohio to process, store, and distribute controlled substances and their resulting cash proceeds,” the DOJ spokesperson said in the release.

One of the people charged, who was not specifically identified, used a guise of her profession as a truck driver to transport thousands of dollars in cash to sources of drug supplies in Mexico and the western U.S., the spokesperson said.

Charged in the distribution ring was:

  • Clemente Quezada, 38 of Fairborn
  • Edson Cruz-Medina, 32 of Springfield
  • Mark Turner, 42, of Xenia
  • Tiun Todd, 37, of Cincinnati
  • Jonathan Lopez, 31, of Cincinnati
  • Erick Collins, 36, of Cincinnati
  • Isai David Navarro-Rivas, 44, of Calexico, California
  • Juana Elvira-Arrechea Gilbert, 60, of San Diego

Each person is facing charges of conspiring to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl, which, if convicted, is punishable by at least 10 years in prison and up to life in prison, the spokesperson said.

“This is a sophisticated, alleged drug trafficking organization that stretched from the Mexican border to southern Ohio,” Keith Martin, DEA Special Agent in Charge said in the media release.

“We believe this group, and others who we are working to bring to justice, are responsible for trafficking a significant amount of fentanyl into southern Ohio.”

“Fentanyl remains a significant threat to this region. DEA and our law enforcement partners are intensifying efforts to go after those who exchange the suffering of thousands for their own personal gain,” Martin said.