- Michael Pitman Staff Writer
Federal agents and several local police agencies, including the Butler County Sheriff’s Office and the Oxford and Fairfield police departments, were a part of a team that broke up one of the largest drug trafficking rings in Butler County.
Here’s what we know now about the arrests and the investigation:
1. The charges and who was arrested
Six immigrants, not all illegal immigrants, have been charged with conspiracy to possess and distribute more than 1,000 grams of heroin. One hit, or dose, or heroin is a tenth of a gram.
Federal investigators say the six people were conspiring to operate the heroin trafficking ring have been doing so since at least October 2017 until this week.
Those arrested include:
- Annel Reyes-Valdes, 28, of Fairfield, arrested on Gilmore Drive
- Miguel Monroy-Cuadros, 29, of Fairfield, arrested in Dallas by Dallas Police Department officers
- Armando Gonzalez-Rosas, 25, of Fairfield, arrested on Augusta Boulevard
- Omar Santos, 37, and Armando Reyes-Cortex, 36, both of Oxford, arrested on Trenton-Oxford Road in Milford Twp.
Investigators are also looking for Felix Garcia-Rosas, a 30-year-old from Liberty Twp., who is currently a fugitive at-large.
Additional charges include:
- Gonzalez-Rosas and Garcia-Rosas are also charged with distribution of heroin.
- Monroy-Cuadros, Santos and Reyes are each also charged with possession with intent to distribute more than 100 grams of heroin.
- Santos and Reyes were each also charged with unlawful possession of firearms by an illegal immigrant and unlawfully possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
2. The investigation
DEA agents conducted a controlled purchase of heroin from Gonzalez-Rosas this past September, then a federal judge OK’d agents to wiretap cellphones used by the defendants, officials said. Those conversations led investigators to believe Monroy-Cuadros was likely the source of supply for the group. Reyes-Valdes wired the group’s profits to Mexico, officials said.
The farm in Milford Twp., which were Santos and Reyes reside, was allegedly used as a stash location for the drug and drug proceeds.
That farm is also owned by Fairfield City Councilman Chad Oberson, according to Butler County Auditor’s website. Oberson is not involved with any of the illegal actions, according to Tim Reagan, Resident Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Cincinnati office. Oberson declined to comment Thursday.
Numerous drug deals were observed, and calls listened to, between October 2017 and this month, according to investigators.
3. What happened on Wednesday?
Search warrants were executed on Wednesday at residences on Gilmore Drive and Augusta Boulevard in Fairfield, on Lakota Pointe Lane in Liberty Twp., and on Trenton-Oxford Road in Milford Twp.
Several firearms – which were strategically located to prepare for a home invasion defense – were found in Milford Twp., as well as 300 grams of heroin.
Agents discovered several money transfer receipts at the Gilmore Drive home in Fairfield.
No evidence was found at the residence in Liberty Twp., and just a single arrest was made at the Augusta Boulevard residence in Fairfield.
While Reyes-Valdes, Gonzalez-Rosas, Omar Santos, and Reyes-Cortex were arrested in various locations in Butler County on Wednesday, Monroy-Cuadros was arrested in Dallas, Texas.
DEA agents learned on Monday that Monroy-Cuadros and Reyes-Valdes were in Chicago and Monroy-Cuadros boarded a bus headed to Mexico. Officers from the Dallas Police Department intercepted the bus and arrested Monroy-Cuadros this week.
4. It was a team effort
Federal, state and local agencies were involved in this four-month-long drug investigation that started with a drug by in September.
Those involved in the investigation include the DEA agents in Cincinnati, Chicago and Dallas, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Butler County BURN unit, and the Oxford, Fairfield, Springdale and Dallas police departments.
Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones said a bust of this magnitude, which he calls one of the largest in the county, can only happen when all agencies are working together.
“We may not wear the same uniform, but we are a team. When we all work together, there is nothing we cannot do. At this time in our country, all agencies, we’re all working together, communicating, and this is what happens when we all work together and we’re all on the same page,” he said. “We couldn’t have done it without everybody that’s on this team.”
And Fairfield Police Chief Mike Dickey said this should send a strong message to drug dealers.
“Drug dealers need to understand that every agency in Butler County at all levels — from local to the county to the state to the feds — are working together to put them in jail,” he said. “There are a whole lot people whose sole purpose in life is to eradicate drug dealers.”