Apartment manager on accused drug ring member: ‘I just thought he was a stoner, a pothead’

Aspen Grove Apartments in Middletown

Combined ShapeCaption
Aspen Grove Apartments in Middletown

The property manager at Aspen Grove Apartments in Middletown, a key location in an alleged international drug trafficking and money laundering ring, said he never suspected any illegal activity was taking place there.

Kevin Jones, who has run the complex since August 2016, said residents sometimes complained about the smell of marijuana coming from 2095 Aaron Drive, Apt. 4.

“I never suspected that heroin/fentanyl was coming in and out of that apartment,” Jones told this news agency this morning. “I just thought he was a stoner, a pothead.”

12 charged in alleged drug ring that operated from Mexico to Middletown

Instead, Frank Frazier Jr. was allegedly one of 12 people involved in a piece of a large-scale, multi-state fentanyl and heroin distribution operation that stretched across Ohio to the West Coast and back and connected to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel headed by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who is currently in federal custody in New York, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman announced Thursday.

According to the federal indictment that was unsealed and announced on Thursday, Frazier’s apartment was used as a “stash house” for the Donte Holdbrook drug trafficking organization that sold fentanyl and heroin to customers in the vicinity of Middletown. Another residence in the 4800 block of Holly Drive was also used to drop off the cross-country drug shipments.

After Middletown’s SWAT team knocked down Frazier’s apartment door several months ago, Jones said he evicted Frazier because of the “suspicion” of drug activity. Frazier moved out Oct. 13, 2017, Jones said.

Since then, Jones has noticed a significant drop of vehicle traffic in the complex, especially out-of-state license plates. He said several people stayed in Frazier’s apartment for five minutes, then left. He said each of the apartment buildings has secured entry and video cameras.

“I know whose cars don’t belong here,” Jones said. “I know the Kentucky plates are up to no good.”

Jones described Frazier as “a nice guy” and “you never would assume that he was a drug dealer. Drug dealers are really good at hiding what they do. That’s their job. That’s how they make their money.”

When Frazier was evicted and after the indictments were announced, Jones said those living in the apartments were pleased.

“We don’t tolerate drugs. I don’t tolerate crime,” Jones said. “We don’t want it here. I don’t want it here. Middletown doesn’t want it here.”

He said there are 84 apartment units. Since August 2016, 70 apartments have turned over, and 63 of those were for lease violations.

About the Author