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Seven arrested in Willard heroin bust

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:10 PM

WILLARD - Authorities arrested seven people while using two search warrants on First and North Main streets Tuesday night.

Huron County Sheriff's Capt. Bob McLaughlin said the warrants, signed by Norwalk Municipal Judge John Ridge, were for the purpose of seizing heroin and related items. The investigator said Bradley C. Jones, 34, of 101 First St., was charged with possession of heroin in connection with officers finding two grams of heroin, or 18 balloons, $1,276 in cash in a safe and "other heroin-related paraphernalia." Jones currently is in custody at the Huron County Jail.

Several other people at his residence were released after being questioned.

Amanda L. Moore and Jessica T. Risner, both 28, of 1 N. Main St., were arrested and charged with possession of heroin and possession of heroin paraphernalia in connection with the North Main Street incident. They are being held at the jail on a $7,500 bond each.

McLaughlin said Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have Manuel L. Gaonoa, 26, Israel A. Mercedes, 22, and Eduardo L. Velasco, 31, in custody on "customs-related holders" because they were in "a drug house" during a trafficking investigation. All three suspects are expected to be deported and prosecuted by the Huron County prosecutor's office.

Authorities also charged a 17-year-old Willard boy with a drug offense. He was taken to the Sandusky County Juvenile Detention Center about 3 a.m. Wednesday.

McLaughlin said Ganoa and Moore are accused of going to Columbus on a daily basis to bring back heroin "for the users in Willard." Jones is accused of a similar allegation.

"They worked independently of each other. ... They have their own buyers," McLaughlin said. "They've been doing this since the last part of last year at least since when we knew about it."

Sgt. Greg Gadberry as well as police from Norwalk, Willard and Bob McDowell, Prosecutor Russell Leffler's investigator, were involved in the METRICH investigation/drug bust. METRICH is a 10-county drug task force based in Mansfield.

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