Friday, March 1 2013 4:06 PM EST2013-03-01 21:06:33 GMT
Cincinnati Police and FBI agents are serving search warrants at a residence in Over the Rhine.Investigators are in the 100 block of East Clifton Avenue serving warrants that stem from a long term narcoticsMore >>
The FBI, the US Attorney and local law enforcement have announced federal charges have been filed against 20 alleged members of a Cincinnati drug trafficking organization.More >>
OVER THE RHINE, OH (FOX19) -
The FBI has been investigating a street gang in Cincinnati called the Black Money Bloods since 2011. But it wasn't until last April, according to an agent's sworn statement filed in court, that a drug investigation began that would lead to the largest narcotics bust "in memory," as special agent in charge Ed Hanko put it Friday afternoon.
Around 6 a.m. Friday, nine FBI SWAT teams from as far away as Indianapolis and Cleveland descended upon Over-The-Rhine, snatching 16 men and women whom federal agents accuse of being a part of a major heroin and crack cocaine distribution and selling operation.
"Find a new business," Hanko said, in the style of an old G-man, during a news conference held at the FBI's field office in Kenwood.
In all, 20 people have either been indicted or charged with being part of the operation. As of Friday evening, three remained at-large.
Court documents show the FBI collected 8,000 calls and texts from a phone belonging to 21-year-old Shantez "Tez" Rembert. An agent's sworn affidavit accuses Rembert of being the head of the operation. "SR then supplies several individuals in Cincinnati, Ohio with crack cocaine and heroin," the affidavit says. "SR utilizes several different individuals and stash locations to assist him in the storage and distribution of these illegal drugs."
Among the wiretapped conversations detailed in court documents is one in which an FBI agent says he heard Rembert discussing a buy from 27-year-old Mario Harris of Cincinnati. It went like this:
MH: "What's up man?"
SR: "What up wit it?"
MH "I come back I need like 4 L's man. I'm startin' over from scratch man."
SR: "You got some?"
SR: "Grab me some."
In his sworn affidavit, the FBI agent says that "L" is street lingo for narcotics customers.
"I believe he is declaring that he needs four customers to whom he can sell narcotics," the agent said. During a later conversation, according to the agent, Harris accuses Rembert of not giving him enough money for the drugs. "I believe this conversation coupled with the earlier conversation that took place on that date (is) regarding a heroin transaction between SR and MH," the agent said.
At the FBI's local headquarters, Hanko said Friday he believes authorities have indicted or charged every major player involved.
"We had all of the subjects that we wanted to get wrapped-up in this," Hanko said. "As we went out any further, we would be to street level buyers. And we didn't want to get that diluted."
U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart says each of the suspects who've been caught will make a first court appearance on Monday. As for when they might face trial, he said it could be a long time "based on the evidence that's accumulated (and) the defendants' responses to plea offers, if any."
Court documents show many of the locations where drugs were sold or stored are near schools and public playgrounds. FOX19 spoke with several Over-The-Rhine residents who said they were happy authorities are moving in to clean-up the streets. However, they did not want to go on-camera.
A construction worker rehabbing a nearby school said he's thankful the neighborhood might be a little safer for the future students who walk through its doors.
"It means everything," he said.
If convicted, the suspects face anywhere from 10 years to life in prison, according to Stewart. And it appears many of the suspects were shocked at what transpired this morning.
"Some were very surprised," Hanko said. "It's not often that you have such a large force knocking on your door and coming to bring you to justice."
Saturday, May 25 2013 10:48 PM EDT2013-05-26 02:48:56 GMT
Augusta is a hot spot this weekend as holiday travelers pass by the Georgia—South Carolina border. For many, that means traffic and it also means more law enforcement on the road. Georgia state troopersMore >>
Georgia state troopers have increased patrols during the holiday weekend and will have a few checkpoints throughout the CSRA.More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 9:09 PM EDT2013-05-26 01:09:50 GMT
One teen is dead after a fatal car accident in Aiken County this morning The Aiken County Coroner's Office confirmed Ricky Marquez, 19, died after the car he was riding in left the roadway and struck severalMore >>
An Aiken County teen is dead after severe head injuries from a fatal car accident this morning. More >>
Saturday, May 25 2013 6:31 PM EDT2013-05-25 22:31:35 GMT
Oklahoma natives are raising money to help tornado victims who are now forced to rebuild their town after an EF-5 twister ripped through Moore, Oklahoma last Monday. "Every little bit helps," said ValliMore >>
Oklahoma natives are raising money to help tornado victims who are now forced to rebuild their town after an EF-5 twister ripped through Moore, Oklahoma last Monday.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:51 PM EDT2013-05-25 02:51:03 GMT
Eileen Faucette-Robinson is fed up with the problems; years of problems, from what she says is a result of an apartment complex towering over her backyard."Situations like this where there is a healthMore >>
Eileen Faucette-Robinson is fed up with the problems; years of problems, from what she says is a result of an apartment complex towering over her backyard.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 9:45 PM EDT2013-05-25 01:45:01 GMT
The Georgia-Carolina Council for the Boy Scouts of America voted against allowing gays to join the Boy Scouts. They say they voted against changing the membership standards because 85% of the 2,700 constituentsMore >>
The Georgia-Carolina Council for the Boy Scouts of America voted against allowing gays to join the Boy Scouts.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 8:45 PM EDT2013-05-25 00:45:32 GMT
Mobility Transit Services, the company that runs the Augusta Public Transit, is suing the City of Augusta after they claim their contract was unlawfully terminated. "The Augusta Commission in a meetingMore >>
Mobility Transit Services, the company that runs the Augusta Public Transit, is suing the City of Augusta after they claim their contract was unlawfully terminated.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:53 AM EDT2013-05-24 14:53:19 GMT
Ryan David Jones/Source: RCSO
Friends and neighbors now say the Jones Family, Edna, Roosevelt, and Russell, are the victims of a suspected triple homicide in South Augusta.The Richmond County Sheriff's Office has been investigatingMore >>
The Richmond County Sheriff Office has charged Ryan David Jones with 3 counts of Murder and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Crime.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 8:54 AM EDT2013-05-24 12:54:11 GMT
The Richmond County Coroner's Office has confirmed a bicyclist has been struck and killed on Peach Orchard Road.Robert Donald Holden, Jr, of Hephzibah, was pronounced dead at the scene on the 3500 blockMore >>
The Richmond County Coroner's Office has confirmed a bicyclist has been struck and killed on Peach Orchard Road.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 8:00 AM EDT2013-05-24 12:00:17 GMT
For 12 years Denise Glasford's sister fought in the Army, but died last year on Memorial Day. "Thinking about her and wishing she was still here with us," Glasford said. "It's been a tough year for the family." GlasfordMore >>
Glasford and her niece and nephew are three of dozens of family members paying tribute to soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Here at Fort Gordon's Warrior Remembrance Memorial Day Ceremony, they're honoring those killed, and remembering those they left behind. Soldiers say the national holiday is much more than a day off from work to barbeque and celebrate.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 11:43 PM EDT2013-05-24 03:43:19 GMT
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting at the Cedar Grove Apartments.That's off of Deans Bridge Road.Residents in the area say that two people were shot and taken to the hospital.More >>
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office is investigating a shooting at the Cedar Grove Apartments.More >>