A federal grand jury has indicted 12 people in Mahoning County on charges related to drug possession, conspiracy and distribution.
Currently, 11 out of the 12 are in custody. The suspects were picked up early Monday morning by FBI agents and members of the local drug task force.
The arrests come on the heels of a series of raids that took place last May.
Youngstown Police Chief Robin Lees said the suspects were moving significant amounts of cocaine.
“There was a house on the north side, on Delaware Avenue that, when they raided the house, there were some folks that ran out of the house and there was a gun picked up and almost 400-grams of cocaine,” Lees said.
Named in the 95-count indictment are the following:
- Kevin Clinkscale, 32
- Keilan Clinkscale, 30
- Rochelle Garron, 51
- Jeanne Geroge, 48
- Deonne Gilbert, 35
- Vernon Robinson, 45
- Edward Lee DuBose, Jr., 37
- Edward DuBose, Sr., 58
- Anthony Howell, 30
- Jermaine Stroughter, 39
- Eric Gilford, 27
- Troy Pollard, 35
All 12 are charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine.
DuBose, Sr., Dubose, Jr. and Gilbert face additional charges of distribution of crack cocaine.
DuBose Jr. faces additional charges of distribution of heroin. Gilbert is charged with maintaining a drug premise on West Judson Avenue in Youngstown. There are additional charges for using telephones in furtherance of drug trafficking activity.
The indictment claims Robinson distributed cocaine to Gilbert who then cooked and distributed crack cocaine to DoBose, Jr., DuBose, Sr., Pollard, Kevin Clinkscale, Garron and Stroughter who then sold it to customers in the Northern District of Ohio.
It also claims Howell, Keilan Clinkscale and George also purchased crack cocaine from DuBose, Jr. and Kevin Clinkscale.
All this took place between May and November 2017.
“These defendants sold crack and powder cocaine all over Youngstown, and used a home in the city to stash and sell their drugs,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said.
Prosecutors say the ring was led by Kevin Clinkscale, who already has what they say is a long history of drugs and violence.
“He is accused of buying this cocaine and then selling it to other people,” Mike Tobin said.
Chief Lees says one of his officers was the lead investigator in the case, which involved wiretaps and undercover drug buys. According to the indictment, the suspects often spoke in code over the phone trying to avoid being caught.
“Over time, listening on wiretaps, making purchases, law enforcement is pretty good at figuring out the code and figuring out what’s going on,” Tobin said.
While the chief says as long as there is a market for illegal drugs on the street, indictments like this won’t wipe out the problem but it will help disrupt it.
“This case is an example of local and federal law enforcement working together to make Youngstown safer,” Lees said. “I think it sends a strong message to those people that are out there. That you’re gonna be chased and prosecuted and if you’re at this level, we’ll bring the full force of the federal government against you.”
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Mahoning Valley Violent Crimes Task Force. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Katz.