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Several Portage County residents are among 33 people indicted Friday on charges of drug trafficking and distribution of heroin in Northeastern Ohio.
A 40-count indictment was filed in U.S. District Court charging 15 people for their roles in a conspiracy that brought heroin from Chicago to be sold around Ravenna and Akron.
An additional 18 people were indicted in the Portage County Common Pleas Court on related state charges including trafficking in heroin, trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in marijuana, illegal manufacture of methamphetamine, permitting drug abuse and child endangering.
The arrests and indictments were announced Friday by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steven M. Dettelbach, Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci, FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony, ATF Special Agent in Charge Michael Boxler, Akron Police Chief James Nice, Portage County Sheriff David Doak and Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry.
All 15 people indicted in federal court face a charge of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin. Additional counts include distribution of heroin, maintaining houses as drug premises, possession of firearms during drug trafficking crimes, being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and related charges.
Those indicted in federal court are:
Andre G. White, 36, of Streetsboro
Hershell D. Hill, 31, of Ravenna
Walter Collins III, 41, of Ravenna
Marvin R. Sanders, 26, of Kent
Keith E. Krause, 32, of Kent
Austin Marshall, 31, of Stow
Rashid L. Carter, 29, of Akron
Laverne Eugene Fortson, 40, of Akron
Andre S. Brumley, 29, of Akron
Jasmine M.A. Sanders, 22, of Massillon
Chanda E. Wilson, 44, of Chicago
Shem S. White, 31, of Akron
Jessica L. Money, 37, of Akron
Algyn M. Kerney, 33, of Akron
Michelle L. Spencer, 32, of Akron
"Heroin abuse is an epidemic in our community that takes lives and destroys families," Dettelbach said. "We will continue to target drug traffickers while also working to reduce demand and get treatment for those who need it."
"It is important that we coordinate our efforts if we are to make a dent in this flood of heroin which these criminals are bringing into our counties," Vigluicci said.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Read Saturday's Record-Courier for the full story.