90 Miles From Tyranny : DEA: Illegal Ran Drug Ring From Ohio Jail

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Friday, September 13, 2019

DEA: Illegal Ran Drug Ring From Ohio Jail

Mexican man used smuggled phone to traffic coke, fentanyl

SEPTEMBER 12--An imprisoned illegal immigrant used a smuggled cellphone to run a drug trafficking operation that distributed fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico, federal prosecutors allege.

Jose Lozano-Leon, 41, was one of 10 defendants named in a 17-count felony indictment filed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Cleveland. Lozano-Leon, a Mexican national, is identified as the head of the drug trafficking organization.

Lozano-Leon has been locked up in the privately-owned Northeast Ohio Correctional Center in Youngstown since late last year, when he pleaded guilty to illegally reentering the U.S.. Lozano-Leon was convicted in 2008 for conspiracy to distribute heroin. After serving a federal prison sentence, he was deported to Mexico.

Almost immediately upon being locked up in 2018, Lozano-Leon obtained a cellphone and continued operating the drug ring he allegedly headed while on the street. Lozano-Leon, the indictment alleges, used the contraband phone to send texts and make calls to coconspirators.

Remarkably, Lozano-Leon even used his phone to exchange texts with an associate who was being held at a federal prison in Michigan (and who also secured a cellphone).

As charged in the indictment, Lozano-Leon arranged for narcotics purchases, courier pickups, and money transfers while incarcerated. In texts and calls, Lozano-Leon had $25,000 sent to Phoenix for the purchase of fentanyl and $7500 mailed to Washington State for the...

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