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Massive operation files over 700 drug-related charges

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine arrived at the American Legion in East Liverpool to announce details on a massive drug sweep.

The letters of Big Oak stand for Breaking Into Gangs - Opiate Addiction Knockdown, which is just what law enforcement did.

One-hundred people are charged in a 756-count drug trafficking indictment. At the American Legion in East Liverpool Tuesday.

RELATED: Operation Big Oak extends into West Virginia

The operation filed charges across Ohio and West Virginia, including Columbiana and Hancock counties. The operation went as far north as Cuyahoga County. The investigation went on for a long amount of time, and the operation in rounding up suspects began Monday morning extending to Tuesday. That work involved a good deal of wiretapping, plus controlled and informant buys.

Several suspects charged with trafficking fentanyl, carfentanil, heroin and cocaine. Additional charges were related to the use of those drugs. Some suspects arrived in East Liverpool Tuesday morning to be processed before moving on to their respective court dates.

DeWine pointed out four alleged ring-leaders from Cuyahoga county.

“These are not small fish,” DeWine said.

They're accused of trafficking drugs there, and into Columbiana county and surrounding areas as part of the "Down the Way" criminal street gang. Beyond the amount of charges and people arrested, the amount of fentanyl and carfentanil involved is astounding.

“They brought the equivalent of 1.4 million potentially fatal doses of these two deadly drugs to Columbiana County since 2014,” DeWine said.

According to DeWine, that's enough to kill every person in Columbiana County, and the entire population of 11 nearby counties.

DeWine says the hope is for some low-level offenders to receive treatment. He also says his office is sending a message to traffickers.

“Police officers are literally risking their lives to get these deadly drugs off our streets and I thank them,” DeWine said. “I thank them for all the fine work that they are doing.”

The officials at the press conference called for rehabilitation and education as a part of the solution to the drug problem.

UPDATE: A total of 49 of 100 are now in custody.

Here is the most up-to-date list of alleged traffickers who are in custody.

1. Tremaine Jackson, 28, Cleveland

2. Jermaine Jackson, 46, Garfield Heights

3. Cristal Adams, 42, East Liverpool

4. Mark Bailey, 34, Rogers

5. Patrick Beam, 39, Rogers

6. Brian Bloor, 42, Garfield Heights

7. Justin Buckel, 25, East Liverpool

8. Donald Crumbley, 34, East Liverpool

9. Kelly Davis, 31, East Liverpool

10. Thomas Fannin, 74, East Liverpool

11. Francis Flaherty, 42, Youngstown

12. Antonio Fleming, 32, East Cleveland

13. Martin Fletcher, 32, East Liverpool

14. Adam Gallimore, 30, Lisbon

15. Mack Griffin, 26, East Cleveland

16. Grandville Lamar, 26, Cleveland

17. Amber McCauley, 29, East Liverpool

18. Bridget McKinnon, 31, East Liverpool

19. Sherman Pritt Jr., 38, East Liverpool

20. Susan Pritt, 33, East Liverpool

21. Micheala Reardon, 24, Garfield Heights

22. Thomas Redman III, 35, Rogers

23. Marissa Shasteen, 24, East Liverpool

24. Shelly Swigert, 43, East Liverpool

25. Tiffany Ulbrich, 31, East Liverpool

26. Shantelle Uselton, 29, East Liverpool

27. Cynthia Williams, 45, Youngstown

An additional 22 lower-level suspects are in custody as well.


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