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  1. buseman
    PICKERINGTON -- Officials continue to investigate what they think is a Mexican drug cartel with members operating in Pickerington and central Ohio.

    Three people were arrested Friday afternoon after traffic stops executed by Pickerington detectives and members of the department's patrol division and K-9 Unit.

    In a home authorities said was connected to the three suspects was 1,200 pounds of marijuana with a street value of about $1.8 million.

    The investigation is continuing, and we're anticipating more charges and more arrests out of this, said Eric Brown, commander of the Fairfield-Hocking Major Crimes Unit, which assisted in the arrests. "So, we have some more work to do on this case.

    He declined to release names of the three suspects, saying they are crucial to the ongoing investigation.

    The South Central Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Federal Drug Task Force investigated the suspects for several months, Brown said.

    After police initiated traffic stops on the three individuals, they obtained search warrants to search two houses in Pickerington. Brown also declined to release any specifics on the location of the houses.

    That's where officials found the 1,200 pounds of marijuana. At 7 to 10 pounds a package, and running $1,500 a pound, they had gathered about $1.8 million in narcotics that day.

    Brown said they also found packaging for heroin without the product, leading him to think the suspects were trafficking in other drugs.

    With drug trafficking, it all comes together, whether it's heroin, whether it's crack-cocaine, he said.

    Brown said he anticipates more arrests, as the cartel likely operated not just in Pickerington but throughout central Ohio

    BY MORGAN DAY
    JULY 20, 2010
    http://www.lancastereaglegazette.com/article/20100720/NEWS01/7200308

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