9 named in 28-person, 21-count federal drug indictment in custody


Nine people named in a 28-person, 21-count federal drug indictment are in custody today.

The indictment alleges that the defendants were involved in a major drug trafficking operation that, in the course of a decade, brought more than 2,200 pounds of cocaine and 220 pounds of marijuana into northwest Ohio. The drugs were trafficked, sometimes in semi trucks, from Mexico and Texas into Toledo.

As of about noon, the nine in custody were Joe Arguelles, Francisco Rodriguez, Angelo Pecina, David S. Smith, Marcus A. Barrera, Cato L. Hornbeak, Leopoldo Pecina, Jose Rodriguez III, and Joseph Malino. All of the arrests were made in Ohio.

RELATED CONTENT: 28-page federal drug indictment

Three firearms were confiscated today during the arrests, officials said at a press conference this morning.

Officials allege that Brigido Herrera and another man, who was not charged in the indictment, were able to access "large amounts" of cocaine and marijuana from suppliers in Mexico and Texas. The drugs were then brought to Toledo and distributed by Lionel Perez and Mario Vasquez, officials said.

The drugs were then collected and stored around the Toledo area before being distributed on the streets.

The investigation spanned seven years and included the Drug Enforcement Administration, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, Ottawa County Drug Task Force, Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, Sandusky County Sheriff's Office, and Fremont Police Department.