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Four indicted by feds in Youngstown drug ring

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An affidavit says the four were involved in drug activity from May to September

A gavel and books sitting on a table.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A federal indictment unsealed Tuesday in the U.S. Northern District Court Of Ohio charged five men with transporting and selling cocaine in the Youngstown area.

Named in the indictment are Jose Guadalupe Vasquez Rios; Jose Fransico Espinoza-Medina; Javier Delgado-Ortiz; Hector Delira-Rico; and Casimiro Hidalgo-Herrera. No ages or addresses were given for the men in the complaint.

All five men are in custody. Charges include conspiracy to distribute cocaine and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

An affidavit in the case said federal Drug Enforcement Administration personnel began tracking Espinoza-Medina on May 10, when he flew into Dallas, Texas, from Mexico and two days later was at a home in the 4000 block of Kirk Road in Austintown that belonged to Rios.

Investigators surveilled the house at different times and saw Rios and other men carrying coolers and duffel bags in an out of different vehicles. Espinoza-Medina was also tracked several times coming into the United States from Mexico, according to the affidavit.

Beginning in September, investigators began tracking Rios from the Kirk Road home to a home in the 3500 block of Dover Road in Youngstown. The other defendants then began to be seen by investigators at the two homes later in the month.

Agents also surveilled some of the defendants stop at a Canfield Road Family Dollar, where they bought energy drinks, headphones and 2,000 rubber bands. Rubber bands are often used by drug traffickers to package large amounts of cash, the affidavit said.

On September 24, Espinoza-Medina was stopped by the Ohio State Highway Patrol as he crossed into Ohio from Indiana. He gave permission to allow his car to be searched, and troopers found a hidden compartment that had 18 kilos of cocaine inside, the affidavit said.

The next day, federal agents served search warrants at both the Kirk Road and Dover Road homes. In the Kirk Road home, agents found rubber bands, a digital scale, suspected cocaine in the garage, plastic bags, marijuana and a suspected drug ledger, according to court documents.

In the Dover Road home agents reported finding money, a money counter, suspected cocaine, an electronic scale, two bags of rubber bands and respirator masks.

Court records show the men are expected to be indicted November 1.

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