The Portage County Drug Task Force was busy this week as a number of Ravenna residents were taken into custody in connection with two separate drug busts.
NewsChannel 5 reports Tuesday, the Task Force arrested 29-year-old Jonathan Casteel for allegedly trafficking marijuana and endangering children. He was booked into the Portage County Jail.
Portage County Sheriff David Doak said the arrest came after a five month investigation into the alleged drug trafficking. Task Force Agents said they discovered an undetermined amount of marijuana and cash.
On Thursday, the Portage County Drug Task Force arrested eight more people in Ravenna after authorities said they received multiple complaints about drug activity on Plum Way. Crack cocaine and powder were both recovered from the home.
45-year old Antoinetta Latimer is facing charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance.
Also booked into the Portage County Jail on cocaine possession charges were 26-year old Jerome Latimer, 59-year old Anthony Kirklin, 20-year old Xavier Jones, 18-year old Quenton Burrell Jr, 29-year old Joshua Hixon, 22-year old Jamiran Mack, and 24-year Deanglo Frost.
Additional evidence will be presented to the Portage County Prosecutor's Office by Task Force Agents and the Grand Jury could be seeking additional charges in both cases.
On the Web: www.newsnet5.com
You've heard about the growing meth problem in the area's cities...but rural areas are not immune to the spread of meth labs.
The MEDWAY drug enforcement agency handles drug cases in Wayne and Holmes County, and the Medina County cities of Wadsworth and Brunswick.
Senior agent Donald Hall says that rural areas have to deal with the growth of meth making just like cities do...and he's been a part of busts everywhere in the region, not just in cities like Wooster and Orrville.
"Anywhere and everywhere you can think of," Hall tells AkronNewsNow. "I've done them in cars, trunks of cars, I've done them in hotel rooms, campers, mobile homes, in people's closets and houses, out in the woods."
Hall says the low cost and ease of making meth labs has contributed to the rise in the number of labs, despite the very serious danger of working with potentially explosive chemicals.
"You don't need the Mexican cartel to get this methamphetamine," Hall says. "It's something that you can go to any retail outlet and buy the chemicals you need to make methamphetamine."
Like in the area's cities, Hall says he's busted a number of "mobile" meth labs.
"They could be driving around in the city or the country and just be cooking a bottle while they're driving around," Hall tells AkronNewsNow.com. "Obviously it's dangerous, but when they get done cooking they typically will leave it in the trash at the hotel room, unbeknownst to cleaning personnel...or they'll throw it out in the ditch or the roadway."
The used bottles are often found by people driving nearby.
Akron Police have been busy with a pair of major drug busts over the last two weeks.
The first bust followed a three month long investigation by The Akron Police Department Narcotics Unit after they executed two search warrants simultaneously on Shadybrook Avenue and Jefferson Street.
After searches concluded, police recovered one and a half kilograms of cocaine, $8,000.00 in cash, and a loaded handgun.
35-year-old Damond Dixson of Akron was arrested on multiple drugs and weapons charges and was booked in jail.
The second bust occurred Wednesday night around 8:45 after a brief car chase that ended in Richfield.
The chase occurred after the suspect allegedly made a drug deal with two kilograms of cocaine with undercover officers in a parking lot on Medina Road.
The suspect was injured in the car chase, when he lost control and struck several trees. The suspect was taken to an Akron Hospital where he is being treated for a broken leg. Charges are expected later. Four other men were arrested as part of the operation. Wilson Dominquez, Jose Rosado, Giovanni Santana, and Ramon Alvarado, all of Cleveland.
All were charged with drug trafficking and booked into the Summit County Jail.
In all, police seized three and a half kilograms of cocaine, over $50,000.00 in cash and a loaded gun.
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