Friday, 22 December 2017 17:49

Drug Ring Involving Body Shop Worker Busted in Cleveland, OH

Written by Chris Mosby, Cleveland Patch

Twenty-six people have been arrested for planning to bring large amounts of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine into Northeast Ohio, law enforcement announced Dec. 7. 

The group allegedly brought hundreds of pounds of narcotics into the region.

"Today's massive take-down marks a major step forward in combating illegal opiate sales within the city of Cleveland," Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams said. "As you can see from this joint effort, law enforcement remains committed to erasing this problem in Northeast Ohio. Further, we encourage anyone battling addiction to utilize the many resources that are available and strive to get well." 

Two of the men, Victor Felix, 39, and William Rodriguez, 40, are still eluding police capture. The FBI is asking the public for help with locating the men. Anyone with information is asked to contact law enforcement.

How the Drug Ring Worked

Three people, Irwin Jose Vargas, Keyra Linnette Martinez and Isidoro M. Gonzalez, are accused of arranging shipments of heroin, fentanyl and cocaine from Puerto Rico between 2016 and today. The shipments included at least a kilogram of fentanyl, a kilogram of heroin and five kilograms of cocaine. Most of the shipments came through mailing services, including the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx and UPS, the indictment says. The group would also mail packages from China to Puerto Rico and from Puerto Rico to the U.S.

The drugs would be stored in locations throughout the region, including Santiago Auto Care Services in Cleveland, an apartment in Parma, a home in Euclid and residences throughout Cleveland. The drugs would be sold out of those locations to other drug traffickers.

One of the men, Emad Silmi, of North Olmsted, is also accused of getting large amounts of cocaine and then selling them out of his business, Global Auto Body & Collision. Silmi allegedly also obtained large amounts of N-Ethyl Pentylone, similar to "molly," and then selling that to other dealers out of his auto shop, the indictment says.

Silmi received at least five kilograms of cocaine and more than 100 kilograms of marijuana between January 2016 and March 2017, the indictment says. He is also being charged with conspiracy to launder money for trying to conceal his drug profits, law enforcement said.

Two of the men, Anthony Greenlee and Erkan Nevzadi, are said to have used guns, ammunition and other weapons to protect their drug trafficking, the indictment says.

"These groups brought hundreds of pounds of dangerous drugs into Northeast Ohio and sold them throughout our community," U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said. "We will continue to work collaboratively to shut off the flow of drugs and seek long prison sentences for traffickers."

The drug bust can be split into two groups. 

Fifteen people are named in a 29-count indictment for conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and a fentanyl analogue.

Those 15 people are:

Irwin Jose Vargas, 42, of Euclid;

Keyra Linnette Martinez, 42, of Euclid;

Irwing Vargas Rosario, 24, of Cleveland;

Isidoro M. Gonzalez, 41, of Cleveland;

Alcides Garcia, 46, of Ponce, Puerto Rico;

Austin Natale, 27, of Cleveland;

Kayle Mae Jonela, 22, of Brook Park;

Rosemary Howell, 55, of Cleveland;

Dennis Mansfield, 58, of Cleveland;

William Rodriguez, 41, of Cleveland;

Jeffrey Mack, 44, of Cleveland;

Victor Felix, 39, of Cleveland;

Nelson Benitez, Jr., 34, of Cleveland;

Thomas Lopez, 39, of Cleveland, and

Edgar Arroyo, 37, of Cleveland.


A second group of 12 people have been charged in a 26-count indictment to distribute cocaine, MDMA and marijuana. Those people are:

Emad Silmi, 43, of North Olmsted;

Christopher Young, 46, of Westlake;

Herbert Shaw, 44, of Cleveland;

Samer Abu-Kwaik, 46, of Cleveland;

Nelson Benitez, Jr., 34, of Cleveland;

Jonathan Smith, 34, of Lathrup Village, Mich.;

John D. Ciarlillo, 42, of Medina;

Anthony Quinn Greenlee, 26, of Huron;

Santana Jones, 22, of Cleveland;

Gregory Lowery, 32, of Painesville;

Mogahed Mustafa, 30, of North Olmsted, and

Erkan Nevzadi, 29, of Cleveland.


We thank Cleveland Patch for reprint permission.