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Ohio narcotic officers arrested and charged with fentanyl trafficking

Federal brokers arrested two Ohio cops in connection to crimes associated to the distribution of at the very least 7 kilograms of fentanyl, in keeping with the Division of Justice.

Officers Marco Merino, 44, and John Kotchkoski, 33, of the Columbus Division of Police’s drug cartel unit, had been allegedly concerned within the distribution of the medicine, and Merino is accused of accepting bribes that protected the transportation of cocaine, the assertion mentioned.

Merino tried to recruit an informant to visitors the fentanyl with him, promising the person safety towards any potential investigation, an affidavit filed in assist of the legal grievance alleged.

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“Courtroom paperwork element that Merino meant to achieve citizenship in Mexico as a part of a plan to launder their drug proceeds,” the assertion learn. “Merino allegedly deliberate to purchase properties in Mexico to run as Airbnb properties and traveled to Mexico in July.”

Merino is accused of receiving roughly $44,000 in return for safeguarding the transport of about 27 kilograms of cocaine from March till September, DOJ reported.

“Unbeknownst to Merino, there was no precise cocaine and every of the transactions was managed by federal regulation enforcement,” the assertion mentioned.

Kotchkoski is alleged to have made himself obtainable through radio to carry out any calls that Merino may require to supervise the protected passage of the cocaine , in keeping with the assertion.

“In June and August 2021, Merino allegedly distributed roughly seven and a half kilograms of fentanyl that Kotchkoski offered him,” DOJ mentioned.

Merino is alleged to have made between $60,000 and $80,000 for the sale, the assertion alleged.

“Possessing with intent to distribute 400 grams or extra of fentanyl is a federal crime punishable by 10 years and as much as life in jail,” in keeping with the DOJ. “Federal Program Bribery is punishable by as much as 10 years in jail.”



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