COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Eleven people are facing federal drug charges, accused of dealing drugs near a school on the west side of Columbus.
The United States Attorney’s Office said the drug trafficking ring was dealing large amounts of cocaine, crack cocaine, and fentanyl.
The 11 suspects are charged with dealing drugs within 1,000 feet of Burroughs Elementary School in the Hilltop.
The suspects were arrested between June 29 and July 1, according to Columbus police, and most of them are from Columbus.
The U.S. Attorney for Southern Ohio said getting to this point is a milestone in what has been a two-year investigation.
Residents in the area have not wanted to go on camera out of fear some people connected to the drug operation are still out there but said the group has been causing a lot of problems in the neighborhood and are glad the arrests have been made.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, more than $1.5 million and 44 guns were seized in the operation.
Columbus Division of Police Sgt. Joe Curmode, who works on the west side, said breaking up a ring like this in the area can have immediate benefits.
“Getting large-scale busts like this make a drastic impact on the community,” he said. “You can see it in the residents. They complain to us every day about the poison being slung left and right next door and getting high-level dealers off the street is a fantastic accomplishment.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the investigation has involved local, state, and federal law enforcement and that, in total, 14 search warrants were carried out as part of it.