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Published: Saturday, 7/24/2010

15 suspects indicted in drug-ring roundup

Fifteen people believed to have been bringing crack cocaine and potent doses of heroin into northwest Ohio were indicted this week by a Wood County grand jury.

By Thursday, 14 of the drug-ring suspects had been arrested or served with summonses in Ohio and Michigan on charges that included engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and drug trafficking. Three were arrested in the Detroit area and 11 in Toledo.

"This is very significant because they supplied a large amount to the users in the area and that includes Lucas and Wood" counties, said Gwen Howe-Gebers, chief assistant Wood County prosecutor.

The drug trafficking organization, which called itself the Detroit Boys, was selling paper folds they called Fentanyl. Ms. Howe-Gebers said the substance they were selling actually contained heroin with a high purity level mixed with other substances.

"We have some information that it appears that at least one or two deaths [from drug overdoses] are linked to this," she said, adding that the drug can be used in other ways.

"Some people who are really bad off will just stick it on themselves," Ms. Howe-Gebers said. "Some burn it. Some add liquid to it and shoot it."

Fentanyl is a prescription pain medication typically used for cancer patients and in surgery.

Authorities have been investigating this alleged drug ring since 2008, she said.

The investigation involved three federal agencies along with Perrysburg Township police, the Toledo Metro Drug Task Force, and the Wood County Prosecutor's Office.

In addition to the arrests, authorities executed multiple search warrants Thursday morning, including three in Toledo, where they seized suspected crack cocaine and heroin and some vehicles.

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