December 20, 2014

Elyria
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Police arrest 14 more in connection with drug trafficking ring

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Officials made 14 more arrests in the past two days as part of an ongoing investigation into a Lorain County drug trafficking ring.

All 14 were charged by Lorain and Elyria police and the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office with conspiracy to traffic heroin on Monday and Tuesday:

  • Christopher Alexander, 29, was arrested at his home in the 500 block of Bon Air in Elyria.
  • Jordan Burke, 23, was arrested at his apartment in the 200 block of Federal Street in Norwalk.
  • Albert Hollis, 48, of Elyria, was charged at the Econo Lodge in Elyria.
  • Stacey Hollis, 24, of Barberton, turned herself in to police.
  • Lucas McMullen, 32, was arrested at his home on Diagonal Road in LaGrange.
  • Mickey Metheney, 30, was arrested at his home in the 100 block of Frank Court in Elyria.
  • Larry Moore, 21, of LaGrange, was in custody at the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office on an unrelated charge when he was served with the charge.
  • Garrett Padgett, 30, was arrested at his home in the 35400 block of Chesterland in North Ridgeville.
  • Cheryna Samples, 20, was charged at her home in the 1200 block of West 22nd Street in Lorain.
  • Kennedy Schultz, 22, of Elyria, turned herself in at the Elyria Police Department.
  • Gregory Smink, 29, of Elyria, was in custody at the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office on an unrelated charge when he was served with the charge.
  • Christopher Songer, 32, of Elyria, was in custody at the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office on an unrelated charge when he was served with the charge.
  • Josh Truman, 30, of LaGrange, turned himself in at the Elyria Police Department.
  • Cody Yourich, 23, of Wellington, was arrested at Walmart in Elyria.

The arrests culminated a year-long investigation into a Lorain County drug ring led by alleged kingpin Wayne Norris, said Lorain Police Sgt. Tom Nimon.

Lorain County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Cavanaugh, left, and Elyria narcotics Detective James Welsh talk about the most recent drug arrests Tuesday. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Lorain County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Cavanaugh, left, and Elyria narcotics Detective James Welsh talk about the most recent drug arrests Tuesday. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Seven people, including Norris, were arrested last week for drug-related activity in connection to the ring. According to Elyria Police Sgt. James Welsh, those arrested last week were the primary people in the organization.

The 14 arrested on Monday and Tuesday were connected to the ring and sold heroin around Lorain County and western parts of Cuyahoga in public places such as outside gas stations and shopping marts, Welsh said.

“This will put a big dent in some of our nuanced complaints,” he said.

The arrests were part of a collaborative effort between Lorain and Elyria police and the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office. Lorain County Chief Deputy Dennis Cavanaugh said they received help from the Attorney General’s Office, mayors around the county and the Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office.

Police said at a news conference Tuesday the investigation into the drug ring is ongoing. More arrests are expected.

“We are not too naïve to think that there’s not people waiting in the wings,” Elyria Police Capt. Chris Costantino said of other potential heroin traffickers in Lorain County.

“For a lot of these folks selling, it’s the greed factor,” Cavanaugh said, adding that police believe Norris is not a heroin addict but was making money off of people selling heroin for him around the county.

Norris was selling heroin at a lower price than other dealers in the county and “undercutting his competitors,” Welsh said.

Police added that they know arresting major drug traffickers in the county will not stop the growing heroin epidemic.

“We can’t arrest our way out of this problem,” Cavanaugh said.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.