October 19, 2015 - Eighteen people were indicted for their roles in a conspiracy that brought large amounts of heroin and crack cocaine to Canton from Chicago, law enforcement officials said.
Some of the defendants illegally used firearms as part of the conspiracy. Drug addicts were sometimes used to transport the narcotics from Chicago to Ohio, and the drugs were then distributed from houses in Canton and elsewhere, according to the indictment.
Named in the 11-count indictment are: Jermaine Ramsey, 39, of Canton; Philon Ramsey, 33, of Akron; Caitlin Dixon, 22, of Canton; Eric Edwards, 24, of Canton; Deonte Lewis, 29, of Canton; Terence Harper, 42, of Alliance; Drakco Edwards, 34, of Canton; Lowrell Neal, 35, of Canton; Shaun Smith, 36, of Canton; James Clark, 36, of Alliance; Cory Abbott, 30, of Canton; Matthew Carmichael, 19, of Riverside, Illinois; Frederick Coleman, 31, of Alliance; Dominique Edwards, 26, of Canton; Clifford Edwards, 57, of Canton; Thomas Bergener, 33, of Canton; Quinton Campbell, 28, of Chicago, and Patrick Thomas, 31, of Massillon.
Philon Ramsey, Jermaine Ramsey, Caitlin Dixon, Eric Edwards, Lowrell Neal and others obtained large quantities of heroin and cocaine from a supplier in Chicago. Edwards, Philon Ramsey, Dixon and others had addicts and relatives drive them and others to Chicago to obtain the drugs, according to the indictment.
Philon Ramsey, Edwards, Neal and others used addicts as “runners” to deliver heroin and cocaine to drug customers. They also used addicts and relatives to live in “trap houses” from which they distributed heroin and cocaine. These included residences on Lawn Avenue SW, Holland Court and 16th Street
Eric Edwards used Shaun Smith and Patrick Thomas as “enforcers” for his drug trafficking organization, according to the indictment.
Philon Ramsey, Lowrell Neal, Terence Harper, Eric Edwards and Patrick Thomas face additional charges for being felons in possession of firearms.
Jermaine Ramsey, Matthew Carmichael and Quinton Campbell face additional charges for distributing heroin within 1,000 feet of Heritage Christian School. Drakco Edwards is charged with selling heroin within 1,000 feet of Fairmount Elementary School. Cory Abbott is charged with selling heroin within 1,000 feet of Timken High School.
The conspiracy took place between February 2013 and April 2015. Twenty-three firearms were seized as part of the investigation.
“These defendants spread misery throughout Stark County,” said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach. “They illegally used firearms and held neighborhoods captive all in the name of selling drugs for profit.”
“The FBI will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners to remove the gun-toting suppliers and distributors of dangerous drugs being brought to the streets,” said Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland office.
“The result of an ongoing effort and belief among all levels of law enforcement with the common purpose of assisting the community in the saving of lives in the effort against heroin,” said Canton Police Chief Bruce Lawver.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa Riley following an investigation by the Stark County Safe Streets Task Force. The task force includes members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Canton Police Department, Alliance Police Department, Jackson Township Police Department and the State of Ohio Parole Authority.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio
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