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PD: Men arrested for possession of 2 kilos of cocaine, possibly tied to 'organized crime'

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Posted at 4:11 PM, Sep 07, 2023

CINCINNATI — Two men arrested in Cincinnati with two kilograms — or roughly 4 1/2 pounds — of cocaine are also suspected to have ties to organized crime, according to officials in court Thursday morning.

Both Jonathan Joel Rosario-Otero and Jan Carlos Ortiz Castro were arrested Wednesday and faced arraignment on Thursday morning.

In court, a Cincinnati police officer spoke to the judge, claiming that Castro and Rosario-Otero traveled from New York to Cincinnati to try to sell the cocaine.

The officer said the amount of cocaine Rosario-Otero and Ortiz Castro had with them was worth roughly $400,000.

Prosecutors said in court that there was "strong circumstantial evidence" the two men and their cocaine-selling endeavors were tied to organized crime — at least at a gang level, but possibly even at a cartel level. The CPD officer in court agreed.

Ortiz Castro is from the Dominican Republic, but immigrated to the US when he was 10 years old, his defense attorney said in court, accompanied by a Spanish translator. He is a certified green card holder and works for Uber, the defense attorney said.

The defense claimed Ortiz Castro had nothing to do with the cocaine in his car and had, instead, been asked by Rosario-Otero to drive him to Cincinnati, to which he obliged.

Court documents show Rosario-Otero is from Puerto Rico; Officials did not list a more specific address for him in court documents than the US territory.

Both men face one charge of trafficking in drugs and one charge of possession of drugs, but Rosario-Otero faces an additional charge tied to running from the police, according to court records.

Ortiz Castro was ordered to be held on a $400,000 bond; If he makes bond, he must submit to 24/7 electronic monitoring and he has to surrender his passport.

Rosario-Otero is being held on a $450,000 bond under the same circumstances.

Their cases will go before a grand jury on Sept. 18, prosecutors said.

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