Sheriff: Drug ring used Hamilton restaurant, others to launder money

A Clermont County grand jury on Tuesday indicted nine people on charges of trafficking in marijuana, using local restaurants to launder hundreds of thousands of ill-gotten dollars, and then using that money to gamble over $100 million at Jack Casino in 2017 alone.

Upon their arrests, officers recovered an estimated 270 pounds of marijuana and $607,000 cash.

Investigators from Hamilton, Warren and Butler counties found evidence of money laundering at The Pacific Kitchen in Montgomery; Ashlee’s Chicken in Cincinnati; Timmy’s Wok in Hamilton; and a Washington-based property restoration business, according to a news release from the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office.

The people indicted also used local warehouses to store drugs, deputies said.

The indicted individuals, who collectively face felony charges including trafficking in marijuana, possessing marijuana, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, money laundering and illegal assembly of chemicals for the manufacture of drugs, are: Bryan Fester; Zachary Fester; Cynthia Fester; Dylan Curless; Kirsten Heinrich; Kendall Hollis; Linda Malin; Josh Plummer and Andrew Waters.

The grand jury has also issued warrants for three more people facing similar drug and corruption charges.

Michael Ly of Butler County, Nhat Ly of Campbell County and Ung Ken Ly of Oakland, Calif., had warrants issued for their arrest.

This article contains reporting by our news partners at WCPO.

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