CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Three men who investigators are calling 'major suppliers' of powder and crack cocaine in Cincinnati have been indicted on federal charges.
Marchael Cain, 34, was arrested on Friday. Jermaine Thomas, 31, was already in federal custody on unrelated charges at the time of the new indictment. Authorities are still looking for Reco Smith, 34. All are indicted on charges of of conspiracy and trafficking in drugs within a school zone or playground.
"We are certainly pleased to have disrupted these individuals' criminal activity that had plagued the good citizens of the West End community," said Police Chief James E. Craig.
The charges against the three grew out of an 18-month investigation connected with the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) into illegal sale of firearms and drug trafficking in Cincinnati's West End neighborhood. The investigation was a joint effort between the Cincinnati Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Ohio Adult Parole Authority.
An earlier investigation two years ago resulted in the June 2010 arrest of 27 members of the Tot Lot Posse operating as a street gang in the West End. Seventeen of those defendants were convicted on federal charges; the other ten were convicted in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. Undercover ATF agents purchased 41 firearms and more than 1300 grams of crack cocaine from Tot Lot Posse members during that investigation. Subsequent to the conviction of those 27 gang members, investigators with the ATF and CPD's Violent Crime Enforcement Team developed information and evidence that led to the new federal indictments.
Thomas was identified through the CIRV process as a major offender who contributed to and perpetrated violence in Cincinnati. He has a history of felony drug convictions and numerous misdemeanor convictions. In September 2010 he was arrested for shooting his father in the leg. In October 2010 he was arrested after a SWAT standoff on Jones Street in the West End, where four others were also arrested and seven firearms were seized. He was arrested after another SWAT standoff on Pulte Street in Cumminsville in October 2011.
"The Cincinnati Police Department, in conjunction with all our CIRV partners, worked very hard on this case. It is very gratifying to see it culminate in the indictment of these individuals," said James Whalen, Assistant Police Chief.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Reco Smith is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 513-352-3040.