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Eight charged in large-scale Ohio meth operation involving Mexican drug dealers, feds say

August 17, 2018

Eight charged in large-scale Ohio meth operation involving Mexican drug dealers, feds say

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Eight people are charged in what federal prosecutors say is the largest methamphetamine bust in Ohio history. It’s a case where Mexican drug suppliers gave the green light to kill a man they believed stole their drugs from a warehouse in Boston Heights.

The killing never happened, and court papers show agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration arrested three men on March 24. Federal agents seized the missing drugs from the Olde Eight Road home that served as a center of the drug operation, court filings say.

In all, federal authorities seized more than 140 pounds of methamphetamine, likely the single largest seizure in the history of Ohio, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A grand jury on Aug. 1 indicted Jesus Cota-Medina, 26, of Mexico; Deon Johnson, 48, of Cleveland; Michelle Dailey, 44, of Cleveland; Shauheen Sohrabi, 32, of Akron; Joseph Terlizzi, 28, of Bedford; Tyrone Rogers, 36, of Maple Heights; Hector Manuel Ramos-Nevarez, 26, of Mexico, and Gilbert Treviso-Garcia, 24, of Mexico.

They face charges of conspiracy, while Terlizzi faces a firearm charge. Ramos-Nevarez and Treviso-Garcia are also charged with interstate travel in aid of racketeering.

Agents have investigated the case for several months, and three of the defendants were charged in an indictment handed up in April. Seven of the defendants have been arrested, with the latest being Sohrabi on Friday, U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Mike Tobin said.

Cota-Medina is not yet in custody, he said.

Federal authorities say Johnson, while in prison, concocted a plan to deal meth in Ohio, with ties to Mexican drug dealers.

Dailey and Rogers traveled from Cleveland to Tucson, Arizona in January and crossed into Mexico. They met with Cota-Medina on Jan. 12, and Johnson and Cota-Medina spoke by phone about shipping drugs to Ohio, prosecutors say.

Johnson, Rogers, Terlizzi and others worked with Sohrabi and used a home and garage-warehouse in Boston Heights to make and package crystal meth for sale, authorities say. The plan was to make enough money selling methamphetamine so they could eventually buy and ship cocaine to Ohio.

The DEA started investigating Rogers in January, and Chief U.S. District Judge Patricia Gaughan approved a wiretap on two of his phones on March 20, court filings show.

Authorities say Rogers sent money to Cota-Medina, officials say. In March, Ramos-Nevarez and Treviso-Garcia entered the U.S. from Mexico, and Rogers soon met up with them.

Terlizzi spoke with Rogers March 22 about buying drugs, and they agreed to meet at Terlizzi’s house on West 23rd Street in Cleveland.

Agents searched the Boston Heights home and warehouse the next day, seizing meth and tools used to make it. Sohrabi called Rogers eight hours later and said someone broke in, the indictment states.

“Somebody gotta die,” Rogers said, according to the indictment.

Cota-Medina, Rogers and Johnson later spoke about how they thought Sohrabi stole the drugs. They made it clear in conversations that someone in Mexico had given the OK to kill Sohrabi, prosecutors say.

Rogers, Ramos-Nevarez and Treviso-Garcia were arrested March 24. Treviso was arrested two days later, and agents found him in possession of cocaine, heroin and two guns.

The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Solomon Oliver Jr.

If you would like to comment on this case, please visit Friday’s crime and courts comments section.

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