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Sheriff: Five people arrested, 40 pounds of cocaine seized in drug trafficking investigation

Posted at 10:47 AM, Oct 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-25 18:56:04-04

CINCINNATI — The Hamilton County Sheriff's Department announced Friday morning that, with the assistance of national and regional law enforcement agencies, five people were arrested and about 40 lbs. of cocaine and other items were seized in relation to an interstate drug trafficking investigation.

"Our [Organized Crime Division] agents identified members of an organization and initiated surveillance of several locations," Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil said Friday morning. "The agents learned that there was a delivery of cocaine headed to the Greater Cincinnati area out of Texas via a semi-tractor trailer."

Once search warrants were issued, agents arrested three people from Texas and two people from Cincinnati. About $100,000 in cash, several vehicles and six firearms, in addition to the cocaine, were also seized by the agents.

"[The] cocaine alone had approximate street value of $1.3 million," Lieutenant Jay Gramke with the Regional Narcotics Unit, said.

The five people arrested are:

  • Brian Morgan, 47, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Gilbert Steele, 41, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Mauricio Inocenio, 63, Spring, Texas
  • Cesar Garcia, 54, Spring, Texas
  • Roy Salinas, 47, Zapata, Texas

Morgan, Steele, Inocenio and Garcia faces charges of felony drug trafficking and felony drug possession. Salinas faces felony conspiracy drug trafficking and felony drug possession charges. The sheriff's department is holding all suspects in the Hamilton County Justice Center.

Neil said Homeland Security Investigations, the Cincinnati Police Department, the Green Township Police Department and the Cheviot Police Department all assisted with the investigation.

"There is no doubt in my mind that lives were saved and Hamilton County was made safer because of the collaborative efforts between Hamilton County and HSI," Amy Turner, resident agent with HSI, said. "Cases like this have a direct and immediate impact on the community, making Hamiton County residents safer..."