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Evidence confiscated by the police

HPD charges nine in large racketeering, drug investigation

Posted December 1, 2020 in Police by Andrea Litchfield

Nine individuals have been charged with victimizing more than 3,000 others as part of a widespread racketeering and drug investigation, following a complex 10-month-long investigation by the Hilliard Division of Police.

A Franklin County Grand Jury has issued a total of 51 indictments against the individuals, ranging from engaging in corrupt activity (racketeering), a first-degree felony, to forgery, identity theft and drug charges.

Seven search warrants were conducted across Central Ohio as part of the investigation, which estimates more than $500,000 was stolen from the 3,000 victims, largely through mail theft, and renting properties with stolen or fraudulent identities. The investigation netted more than 90 pounds of marijuana and various pills. Additionally, 11 guns and more than $265,000 in cash and assets were seized by detectives.

The agency’s Special Investigations Unit collaborated with agencies across Central Ohio and the nation as detectives learned the criminal enterprise had spread across the United States.

The investigation began in February after detectives received a tip regarding suspicious activity at a Hilliard residence. Detectives determined the occupants were renting the home under a false name and using the residence for a drug operation. A search warrant was executed March 5, 2020 at 3609 Sparrow Court where more than 20 pounds of marijuana, nearly $90,000 in cash and a stolen firearm were seized.

Throughout the next several months, six additional search warrants were conducted at residences, including one location in New Albany that was linked to a U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) investigation in which suspects were stealing numerous checks and personal information out of postal bins.

During the search of this residence, 7198 Longlining Road, detectives found guns, drugs, fake IDs, vehicles purchased with stolen identities, and thousands of stolen checks — including federal stimulus checks, personal tax returns, and private exchanges such as birthday cards between families, some Hilliard residents. Much of this investigation was handled by the USPIS and the United States Attorney’s Office, and the involved individuals were subsequently indicted on numerous federal crimes.

Upon conclusion of the investigation, detectives revealed a sophisticated criminal enterprise in which the suspects fraudulently secured residences and vehicles under various aliases to further their drug trafficking enterprise.

“At a time when so many families are struggling, it’s reprehensible to think these criminals stole much needed stimulus and tax return checks, as well as personal checks meant for children celebrating birthdays, to fund a criminal drug enterprise,” said Chief of Police Robert Fisher. “This is a great result from the efforts of our Special Investigations Unit detectives to keep our community, as well as others in Central Ohio, safe.”

Summary:

Search Warrants

  1. 3609 Sparrow Court, Hilliard, Ohio. March 5, 2020. Seized: More than 20 pounds of marijuana, money counter, stolen firearm, $100,025 in cash.
  2. 2687 Quarry Lake Drive, Columbus, Ohio. June 2, 2020. Seized: More than 60 pounds of marijuana, one firearm, $55,455 in cash,
  3. 85 Verdin Court, Columbus, Ohio. June 2, 2020. Seized: Drug paraphernalia, $18,580 in cash.
  4. 59 Bird St., Gahanna, Ohio. June 2, 2020. Seized: Nothing. 
  5. 1627 Basil Drive, Columbus, Ohio. June 3, 2020. Seized: Three firearms, $13,421 in cash.
  6. 7198 Longlining Road, New Albany, Ohio. June 11, 2020. Seized: Fraudulent and stolen documents, credit cards and IDs, five firearms, two fraudulently purchased vehicles, about 2 pounds of marijuana, $7,129 in cash. 
  7. 3178 Weirton Drive, Columbus, Ohio. June 30, 2020. Seized: Fraudulent documents, one firearm and pills.

Individuals charged

  1. Dominic Jordan, 33, of Columbus, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony; trafficking in drugs, a second-degree felony; three counts of possession of drugs, a third-degree felony; receiving proceeds subject to forfeiture, a fourth-degree felony; two counts of funding of marijuana trafficking, a third-degree felony; two fourth-degree felony counts and one fifth-degree felony count of forgery; and taking the identification of another, a fifth-degree felony.
  2. Donald Jordan, 57, of Columbus, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony; trafficking in drugs, a second-degree felony; possession of drugs, a third-degree felony, receiving proceeds subject to forfeiture, a fourth-degree felony; and having weapons while under disability, a third-degree felony.
  3. Victor Harvison Jr., 34, of Columbus, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony; three counts of trafficking in drugs, a second-degree felony; three counts of possession of drugs, a third-degree felony; receiving proceeds subject to forfeiture, a fourth-degree felony; and taking the identification of another, a fifth-degree felony.
  4. Tommy Edwards Jr., 29, of Columbus, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony; three counts of forgery, a fourth-degree felony; and four counts of taking the identification of another, a fifth-degree felony.
  5. Kiara Mitchell, 30, of Columbus, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony; three counts of forgery, a fourth-degree felony; and three counts of taking the identification of another, a fifth-degree felony.
  6. Tierra Donald, 35, of Canal Winchester, trafficking in drugs, a third-degree felony; and possession of drugs, a third-degree felony.
  7. Ajah Hamilton, 21, of Columbus, trafficking in drugs, a third-degree felony; a second-degree felony count of possession of drugs and a third-degree count of possession of drugs.
  8. Damonte Jordan, 21, of Columbus, trafficking in drugs, a fourth-degree felony; and possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony.
  9. Lante Hughes, 22, of Columbus, trafficking in drugs, a fourth-degree felony; and possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony.