CLEVELAND (CNN) — Before dawn, dozens of local, state, and federal officers hit the streets armed with arrests warrants targeting 17 people indicted on federal charges.
The early morning round up is connected to an alleged California to Cleveland drug conspiracy.
Authorities said a very large amount of heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, and marijuana being sent from the west coast, delivered to northeast Ohio, the drugs making their way to the Midwest by domestic shipping.
“It was always disguised in some way and the package would really vary on the size of the shipment,” said Bridget Brennan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Ohio. “It is a significant amount of drugs moving through a third party carrier.”
The feds said some of the people indicted used guns to protect their drugs while others laundered tens of thousands of dollars in drug money.
“Once they were able to distribute this vast amount of narcotics through northeast Ohio, and they obviously make a lot of money doing it, they would turn around and take cash– bulk cash, conceal it in drums and keyboards and ship it back to California,” Brennan said.
By the time the sun came up in California, local, federal and state authorities had at least five people in custody.
“Drug traffickers are dangerous, especially ones who are charged with firearms in connection with their drug stashes,” Brennan said. “That’s a very significant threat.”