CINCINNATI -- A Cincinnati Police Department dispatch supervisor was arrested Tuesday in connection with a drug bust that officials say netted 600 pounds of marijuana.
Taneal Poole, 36, allowed live-in boyfriend Damian Gray to store several hundred pounds of marijuana inside her Silverton home, according to court documents.
Poole was charged with possession of drugs, a first-degree felony, as well as permitting drug abuse, a fifth-degree felony.
Four others also were arrested, Butler County sheriff's Sgt. Melissa Gerhardt said:
- Oscar Paz-Diaz, 20
- Brandon Guijosa, 19
- Miguel Trillo, 38
- Jose Antonio Santiago-Razo, 32
Jail records show all four were charged with felony trafficking in drugs and felony possession of drugs.
Smugglers brought the marijuana to Fairfield from Mexico by concealing it inside the walls of a trailer, Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Tim Reagan and Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said at a news conference Wednesday morning.
Jones said they unloaded it at an antique mall on state Route 4. Undercover agents and deputies watched the suspects for six hours before moving in and arresting them, he said.
"They got into the semi truck, and at that point, the doors were locked," Jones said. "They were inside, taking the walls apart inside the truck. At that point, the doors were opened, the marijuana was put into the U-Haul truck, and at that point, there was a stop made in Fairfield."
Jones put the marijuana's street value at $500,000.
A third of the cargo -- 200 pounds -- went to Poole's home Sunday night, Reagan and Jones said.
One suspect is believed to be an illegal immigrant from Mexico previously deported in October, Jones said.
"Lord knows how many times and what he's brought across the border, but at this time, hopefully when he goes through the good old U.S. court system, hopefully he gets some prison time here in the good old United States before he is deported again," Jones said.
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Reagan said this wasn't the suspects' first time bringing drugs to the Greater Cincinnati. The DEA had been working the case for a month, he said.
"We are confident that four or five times at least they ran this up into this area," Reagan said. "Very sophisticated traps in the back of the trailer. Like the sheriff said, it took them, we believe, about six hours to get the dope out of the back of the tractor-trailer."
A former employee of a trucking firm was operating the tractor-trailer illegally, and Reagan said more arrests are possible.
City Manager Harry Black said Tuesday that the Cincinnati Police Department was cooperating fully with officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration in investigating the charges against Poole.
Poole, Black said, had worked for the city since 2007.