Tuesday, July 17, 2012

"He's shot people - he shot his own father."

Crack Dealers Who Sold Drugs Near Toddler's Play Area Face 10-To-Life
Re-printed from a story at WKRC Channel 12 on July 12th 2012

An Ohio based crack cocaine distribution network is completely dismantled after years of investigation and arrests.

CINCINNATI - Two years ago, Cincinnati Police and the ATF worked together to break up the Tot Lot Posse. The gun and drug gang sold undercover police more than 40 weapons and more than 13 hundred grams of crack cocaine.

There wasn't enough evidence to get the upper level of organization -- until now. Investigators say three men indicted today are the top players. Local 12's Deborah Dixon tells us keeping the men behind bars will make the streets much safer.

Taking on the Tot Lot back in 2010-nearly 30 gangsters were arrested on gun and drug charges. More than half were convicted for federal crimes with tough penalties. A funny thing happened on the way to hard time ... they started talking about the top players in the posse. It's taken nearly two years to make a federal case against them.

Marcheal Cain, Reco Smith and Jermaine Thomas are all charged with conspiracy to traffic crack and cocaine. Police arrested Cain this morning. Smith is on the run. Thomas has been in federal custody since October.

The three men are linked to Tot Lot gang. The gang is named after a playground but indictment links them to a midwest drug distribution network. Jermaine Thomas is linked to lots of trouble. "There are bad guys, real bad guys, then there is Jermaine. He's caused more aggravation and violence in this city."

Last October the SWAT team was called after Thomas shot at a woman and her baby then refused to come out of his Pulte Street home in North Fairmount. He was arrested on federal gun charges. "I've read stacks of offense reports where Jermaine was a suspect, witnesses wouldn't testified. They were terrified. He's shot people, he shot his own father."

Today's indictments come after jailed Tot Lot members chose to talk in exchange for for less prison time. Says Lt. Col James Whalen, "You'll hear gang members say we're family. I understand loyalty, that's natural. But if you tell me I'm going to prison or tell about you, I'm going to tell about you."

Perhaps Cain, Smith and Thomas will want to talk too now ... after all, they're all facing 10 years to life in prison if convicted. Reco Smith is the only one of the three men on the run.

If you know where he is, cash in on the information by calling Crimestoppers at 513-352-3040. Callers are identified by code numbers not names.

WKRC Channel 12, Tot Lot Face Federal Charges
FOX 19, Trio Connected To Tot Lot Indicted