Feds take second guilty plea from man accused of taking part in local drug ring

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — The second of nine people accused of being in a ring that sold drugs in the Youngstown area entered guilty pleas earlier this week in federal court.

Matthew Spain, 28, pleaded guilty in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio to charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Sentencing is set for March 1 before U.S. Judge Donald C. Nugent Jr.

The members of the ring are accused of selling drugs from July to December of 2019 throughout the Youngstown area.

An indictment in the case said Spain was given methamphetamine to sell by Korey Moody, 36, who pleaded guilty earlier this week in federal court. The indictment also said that Spain gave cocaine to others to sell for him.

Moody pleaded guilty to the same conspiracy charge that Spain pleaded guilty to. His sentencing is set for Feb. 25, also before Judge Nugent.

Investigators used search warrants to get wiretaps to help build their case. At least 38 calls or texts dealing with drugs or drug transactions are listed in the indictment. Code words used by the defendants included “man,” “girl,” “boy,” “hardware,” “zipper,” “vick,” and “onion,” according to the indictment.

In a series of conversations recorded Aug. 3, 2019, Spain sets up a drug transaction with another member of the ring who was indicted with him. Later the same day, that man calls Spain back while Spain is at a block party, saying the customer was not happy with the quality of the drugs that were sold. The indictment does not say how, or if, the complaint was ever dealt with.

According to the indictment, Spain sold drugs to someone on at least two other occasions, and he was recorded talking about drug transactions at least six times.

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