Defendants Allegedly Distributed Fentanyl and Other Deadly Drugs Across the Ohio Valley
Federal, state, local, and Italian law enforcement officials today announced that 11 individuals were charged for their roles in an international drug trafficking conspiracy that involved the importation of fentanyl, synthetic opioids, and synthetic cannabinoids into the United States, and the distribution of those drugs in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee, and elsewhere domestically. Several charged defendants were arrested earlier this morning and transported to federal court in Cleveland, while the others are in custody elsewhere, including Italy.
“As alleged in today’s indictment, the defendants orchestrated an international conspiracy to peddle fentanyl and other deadly drugs across the Ohio Valley, with complete disregard for the lives of their victims,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “Alongside our law enforcement partners across the country and around the world, the Justice Department will relentlessly pursue all those who seek to profit from poisoning Americans – including when they try to exploit international boundaries and digital currencies to disguise their illicit trade.”
“From the confines of the Ohio Penitentiary, Brian Lumbus led an international and interstate drug trafficking organization that brought fentanyl and other, more potent synthetic drugs from overseas factories to the streets of our region,” said U.S. Attorney Rebecca C. Lutzko for the Northern District of Ohio. “Several others, both in the United States and outside it, acted in concert with Lumbus to do what he physically could not: obtain, assemble, and repackage those drugs, then mail or deliver them to other conspirators for further distribution. As this indictment reflects, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue its collaborative efforts with federal, state, local, and international partners to identify, target, and dismantle drug trafficking organizations, whether the suppliers of such poisons are in the Northern District of Ohio or a continent away. I thank our partners at the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and the Italian government for their tireless efforts to identify and apprehend significant players in the illegal drug trade.”
“Brian Lumbus led an elaborate drug trafficking network that imported dangerous synthetic drugs and other substances from foreign-based suppliers to then distribute to customers throughout the region,” said Special Agent in Charge Orville Greene of the DEA Detroit Field Division. “The outstanding assistance and support DEA received from our foreign and domestic counterparts led to the successful apprehension of Lumbus and his co-conspirators. Today’s actions send a clear message that law enforcement will work locally, and even across international borders, to seek justice against criminal organizations.”
The following defendants are charged in the 34-count indictment:
- Brian Lumbus Jr., aka B, 43, of Cleveland;
- Giancarlo Miserotti, aka Karl, 51, of Italy;
- Brianna Lumbus, 22, of Cleveland;
- Kayla S. Goudlock, 25, of North Royalton, Ohio;
- Jennifer Robinson, 38, of Tennessee;
- Latasha Harris, 40, of Toledo, Ohio;
- Dominique Hammond, 37, of Pittsburgh;
- Wanda Ward, 46, of Johnson City, Tennessee;
- Marchello Lumbus, aka Chello, 42, of Cleveland;
- Jessica Cochran, 28, of Lorain, Ohio; and
- Braisia Lumbus, 23, of Cleveland.
The defendants were all charged in a conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. Additionally, six defendants were charged with substantive possession with intent to distribute controlled substances offenses. Nine defendants were charged with interstate travel in aid of racketeering, and eight were charged in an international money laundering conspiracy. Finally, nine of the defendants were charged with using a communications facility to facilitate a felony drug offense.
According to the indictment, between as early as April 28, 2016, and continuing through Nov. 1 of this year, the defendants did knowingly and intentionally conspire with each other to distribute and possess with the intention to distribute mixtures and substances containing fentanyl, a Schedule II controlled substance; as well as Isotonitazene, Metonitazene, Alpha-PiHP, and ADB-BUTINACA, all Schedule I synthetic opioid or cannabinoid controlled substances.
While incarcerated in an Ohio state prison, Brian Lumbus Jr. orchestrated the operation, ordering significant quantities of these drugs from Giancarlo Miserotti, an Italian citizen and resident. Miserotti arranged for kilogram quantities of these controlled substances to be exported from several foreign countries first to Italy, then to the United States, for redistribution by conspiracy members. Investigators with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction discovered evidence of the criminal activity of this group in the institution and they immediately alerted the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the DEA for further investigation. It was determined that U.S.-based conspirators received the foreign shipments, cut and mixed the drugs, and redistributed them. Other members of the conspiracy used Bitcoin cryptocurrency to pay Miserotti for the drugs.
If convicted, a federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This investigation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.
The DEA, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Colleen Egan and Robert J. Kolansky for the Northern District of Ohio are prosecuting the case. The Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance.
An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.