The news day in Northeast Ohio got rolling this morning with scattered reports of armored-up federal agents knocking down a lot of doors. The first word was that a massive drug raid was underway, the majority of the boot stomping going down in the Collinwood neighborhood.
This afternoon, the federales held a press conference where they revealed the drug raid had actually been the largest collar in the region's history. When the work was done, 70 bad guys were in custody facing federal and state charges related to a coke ring. Authorities are still hunting down an additional 16. In all we're talking about a 122-page indictment containing 97 counts — the fruit of a two year investigation into the multi-state drug slingers.
It also looks like law enforcement didn't just lop off some limbs, but delivered death blows to the operation. According to the Plain Dealer, the supply-side of the game was provided by a Georgia-native named Walter Williams, who made periodic trips to Cleveland; this (kind of) traveling salesmen did business with local Edward Martin, who then sold off his bulk to lower members of the food chain, who then sold if off to a guy who lives in his an apartment with no furniture in Mayfield, who then sold it to those assholes on W. 6th last weekend who were trying to buy your girlfriend a Fuzzy Navel.
Law enforcement has been on the network for two years, and since September 2011 they've taped more than 37,000 cell phone on through a wire. The investigation was dubbed “Operation Northwest Express.” A big hat tip to the law enforcement involved, but ya'll really need to come up with better names.