Sheriff: 12 Indicted in Multi-Million Dollar Marijuana Ring

posted by 700WLW News - 

( Clermont County ) - "They collectively gambled in excess of 100 million dollars in 2017 alone." That's part of a statement released Tuesday afternoon by Sheriff Robert Leahy in an announcement of formal charges brought in an alleged drug ring.

Members of the Clermont County Narcotics Unit started looking in to a suspected marijuana trafficking operation in September, 2017. The statement says agents got cooperation from law enforcement offices in Hamilton, Butler, and Warren Counties along with the Northern Kentucky Drug Task Force and the Ohio Casino Commission Investigative Unit as the investigation spread across the country. 

The sheriff says forty two search warrants have been executed in the case. 270 pounds of marijuana has been seized along with over $600,000 in cash plus twelve vehicles. The suspects allegedly used Cincinnati-area business to launder drug money including The Pacific Kitchen in Montgomery, Ashlee's Chicken in Cincinnati, and Timmy's Wok in Hamilton. The suspects are also accused of gambling with the drug money at casinos, saying they bet more than $100 million last year. 

On Tuesday, a Clermont County grand jury indicted (all felonies unless otherwise noted):

  • Dylan Curless: marijuana trafficking, possessing criminal tools, misdemeanor possession of a defaced firearm
  • Bryan Fester: marijuana trafficking and possession, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, money laundering
  • Cynthia Fester: marijuana trafficking and possession, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, money laundering, possessing criminal tools
  • Zachery Fester: marijuana trafficking and possession
  • Kirsten Heinrich: marijuana possession
  • Kendall Hollis: marijuana trafficking and possession
  • Linda Malin: permitting drug abuse
  • Joshua Plummer: marijuana trafficking and possession, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, money laundering, possessing criminal tools, illegal assembly of chemicals for drug manufacturing
  • Andrew Waters: marijuana trafficking

The sheriff says the following individuals were also indicted and there are warrants for their arrest:

  • Michael Ly: engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, money laundering, conspiracy to traffic marijuana, possession of criminal tools
  • Nhat Ly: marijuana trafficking, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, money laundering, possession of criminal tools
  • Ung Ken Ly: marijuana trafficking and possession, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, money laundering, possession of criminal tools

Michael Ly is listed as a "world renowned chef" on The Pacific Kitchen's website.

The restaurant also says it's worked with Rey Maualuga of the Bengals in creating "signature dishes," though there's absolutely no indication that Maualuga was involved in any of the alleged crimes detailed by the Clermont County Sheriff's statement.

The sheriff says additional indictments are expected.

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