Indictments shut down S. Side crack marketplace
Customers came from Boardman, Canfield and Poland, police said.
By PATRICIA MEADE
VINDICATOR CRIME REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Crack sales around West Glenaven Avenue and Oak Hill came to a halt with a 45-count federal indictment against eight men, city police say.
The first count charges the men with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute crack cocaine in the South Side neighborhood. If convicted, they face a mandatory minimum of 10 years to a maximum life in prison, without parole, and $4 million fine.
The case is being prosecuted by Steven L. Jackson, an assistant U.S. attorney.
As of late Thursday, U.S. marshals had these men in federal custody:
UAllister R. Green, 30, of West Glenaven.
UJason E. Heard, 28, of West Glenaven.
UJauwan Tate, 24, of Chicago Avenue.
UVictor A. Jackson, 25, of North Carolina.
UAbron Hobby, 20, of West Dewey Avenue.
Police were searching for the remaining three:
UMarcus W. Scott, 28, of West Glenaven.
UMatthew M. Condrey, 28, of West Glenaven.
U Andre Mason, 32, of Delaware, Ohio.
Jackson said the defendants will have pretrial detention hearings Wednesday afternoon and remain in custody until then. The prosecutor will ask that the men remain in custody pending trial.
Investigation Tru Soulja
The investigation, code named Tru Soulja, was conducted by the Mahoning Valley Violent Crimes Task Force gang unit. The unit includes officers with the Youngstown Police Department and Mahoning County Drug Task Force and agents from the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation
Detective Sgt. Mike Lambert, a member of the gang unit and YPD vice squad, said Thursday that the drug dealers sold to "everyone."
Police wrote down license plate numbers and discovered that customers came from Boardman, Canfield, Poland, Youngstown and even a few from out-of-state, he said.
The sellers wouldn't approach cars but would have the customers come to the middle of a field, for example, on West Glenaven. One gram of crack sold for $60 and rocks went for $10 and $20, Lambert said.
"They ran their own little group, wouldn't let anyone new in," Lambert said. "That corner [Glenaven at Oak Hill] was the same as Ayers Street -- one place you could always get dope. The sales are wiped out for now."
In March 2001, 14 members of the Ayers Street Playas were indicted on state drug charges. The gang ruled through fear and intimidation, police said.