Multi-state drug operation linked to Ohio inmates

Prisoners used NFL team names as secret code

CINCINNATI -- Using NFL team names as their secret code, two inmates at the London (Ohio) Correctional Facility arranged drug shipments to southern Ohio as part of a nationwide drug trafficking ring, officials revealed Friday.

Talking to drug distributors by phone, Cesar Llamas and Jorge Palacios Gamez allegedly set up shipments by using Pittsburgh Steelers to refer to heroin, Indianapolis Colts to cocaine and Green Bay Packers to marijuana.

"All the phone calls are recorded so even though they were able to use code words we were able to determine what they were talking about through these phone conversations,” Dearborn County (Ind.) Prosecutor Aaron Negangard said at a news conference.

VIDEO: Watch Scott Wegener's report in the player above.

Llamas and Gamez, both of Mexico, used their connections south of the border to buy drugs and have them shipped to Chicago, officials said. They recruited other inmates who had been drug traffickers in southern Ohio and shipped the drugs to their associates on the outside.

The prison operation was exposed in January when Indiana State Police intercepted a shipment.

ISP and RENU agents seized 8.8 pounds of heroin and arrested two people in Dearborn County. Investigators said they determined the shipment was destined for distribution in Cincinnati and Springfield.

Llamas is still in the London prison on drug charges. Gamez was released in April 2013 and is believed to be in Mexico.

Police charged those two and three others - Luis Magallon, Moses Navarro and Ronald Serna - in connection with  the Dearborn County seizure.

Agents arrested 14 people and seized dozens of pounds of drugs in a yearlong drug investigation around the country, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil said.

Neil said the dealers had operations in California, Texas, Nevada, Illinois and Indiana as well as Ohio.

Neil said agents seized about 35 pounds of heroin, 18 pounds of cocaine and more than $600,000 in cash.

The complete prosecutor's report is available in the viewer below.

 

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