The federal arrest of a man in Riverside, Calif., with 33 pounds of a fentanyl precursor led to that man cooperating with agents in a sting of an alleged Dayton drug dealer, according to federal court documents.
Damone Alexander, 32, was arrested April 24 at 132 Westrock Farm Road in Union, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.
Alexander was indicted Tuesday on seven counts including trafficking fentanyl, attempted trafficking, using a communication device in furtherance of a crime and being a felon in possession of firearms.
The operation involved a kilo of “sham” fentanyl, surveillance of Alexander’s vehicle from a helicopter, highway patrol, a K9 and $50,000.
The January 2018 arrest of the unnamed man with 4-ANPP — described in the criminal complaint as a primary precursor to fentanyl — led to information that a Mexican supplier was to deliver multiple kilograms of fentanyl.
That fentanyl was to be hand-delivered to several places including Dayton, said a criminal complaint written by special agent Brian Turk of Homeland Security Investigations’ Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST).
Federal agents recorded conversations between the cooperating defendant (CD) and Alexander about the delivery of controlled substances, Turk’s affidavit said.
Multiple signed search warrants allowed agents to collect telephone information before a March 14 meeting at Chuy’s Restaurant in Beavercreek, Turk wrote.
“Alexander and the CD greeted one another with a fist bump and then entered the restaurant together,” Turk wrote. “During the ensuing meeting, through coded language, Alexander and the CD again discussed the fentanyl purchase, including a purported delay in the anticipated shipment.”
Turk wrote agents followed Alexander to a spa and then to 5041 Well Fleet Drive in Dayton and later discovered Turk’s vehicle at the Westrock Farm Road address.
Later exchanges put the price of the kilogram of fentanyl as $50,000 and the CD arranged for an April 12 delivery of a fake kilo to be delivered to a Meijer parking lot in Englewood, Turk wrote.
Turk wrote that Alexander thought the meeting spot was “hot” due to police presence and that Alexander didn’t have a good “feeling” about the meeting spot.
“Alexander extended his hand through the driver’s side window of the Chrysler 300 while holding what was later determined to be $50,000 in U.S. currency in the other hand,” Turk wrote. “At the last moment, Alexander withdrew his hand and did not accept the sham package of fentanyl.”
A Customs and Border Air and Marine helicopter was used for surveillance before a Ohio State Highway Patrol officer stopped Alexander for an equipment violation. A K9 alerted to the presence of drugs and THC bottles and edibles were located.
Turk wrote than when he was asked about the $50,000 by state troopers, Alexander told investigators he was moving cash from one location to another, that he didn’t like to use banks and that he owned Let’s Make a Deal Auto Sales.
The complaint said that the CD received texts from Alexander saying, “I told you it was hot in that area” and that “they took my money.”
Alexander was arrested 12 days later. Seizures listed in the indictment include two cars, $54,000 in cash, miscellaneous jewelry included three Rolexes and one Breitling watch, rings and chains, plus a shotgun, handgun and pistol.
Alexander has previous state convictions for drug- and gun-related charges. Defense attorney Nicholas Gounaris declined comment.
Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.