Newbury Township Drug Raid Nets Approximately $1.5 Million in Illegal Drugs

On May 12, one of the largest drug raids in the history of Ohio took place at a residence in Newbury Township in Geauga County, according to various news sources. Four people were arrested and charged with first-degree felony possession of drugs. Authorities expect further charges when the case goes before a grand jury.

Sheriff’s deputies raided the home on Thursday evening seizing $128,000 in cash, ten loaded guns, steroids, 100 pounds of marijuana, six pounds of crystal meth, and one kilo of heroin which was described as pure, uncut black tar heroin. Sheriff Dan McClelland said that the street value of the drugs seized in the raid was estimated to be about $1.5 million.

An AK-47 assault rifle and SKS assault rifle were among the weapons seized at the residence. Detectives also seized a Jaguar, Cadillac Escalade, a box truck, what detectives described as “extremely sophisticated” audio recording equipment, and other property said to be valued at $2 million.

Authorities began investigating the residence on Park View Drive in early June after observing a truck that was parked on the street. The sheriff said that after speaking with the people associated with the truck, suspicion was aroused because of the vague and nondescript answers the people gave. After obtaining a search warrant, investigators ultimately found a hidden room in the basement of the home. The room where they found two safes filled with the majority of the drugs seized from the home was located behind a fabricated wall.

Those arrested include Ohio resident Raymond Utt, no age given, 36-year-old Jacquelyn Sanchez of Puerto Rico, 21-year-old Omar Lopez, a Mexican illegal alien, and 43-year-old Dominick Bangera of the UK. Lopez and Bangera were considered flight risks and denied bond; Sanchez and Utt are each held on $1 million cash or surety bond.

News reports indicated there was no sign that drugs were being manufactured in the home. Most defense attorneys would agree that there is no doubt the individuals involved will likely be charged with distributing or trafficking drugs in addition to the possession charges, at the very least.

In Michigan, possession of illicit drugs including heroin, marijuana, and methamphetamine can lead to extremely serious consequences for those convicted. If charged with possession with intent to distribute/deliver, the consequences become even more serious. In fact, in some situations an individual may face up to life in prison along with fines of up to $1 million. The penalties a person faces if found guilty of a drug crime depend on factors including the type of drug and schedule (Schedule 1 drugs are the most addictive and dangerous) and the amount of the substance involved, along with the defendant’s criminal history. For example, when someone is charged with possession with intent to deliver heroin and the amount involved is between 50 and 449 grams, that individual may be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

The most important thing anyone under investigation for a drug crime can do is to obtain the services of a skilled and aggressive Michigan drug crime attorney. When your freedom and future are at stake, it is vital to have a seasoned lawyer who is dedicated to positive results in your corner.

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