TOLEDO - The Glass City was the scene of a major bust Wednesday as Toledo police and the FBI shut down an alleged pipeline of illegal drugs. Twelve men were arrested - some of them in Chicago - and accused of distributing large amounts of cocaine in the area. Those arrested in Toledo are now in the Lucas County jail.
"This particular organization was bringing in approximately 10 kilograms of cocaine into the Toledo area every couple of weeks," said Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre.
That's about $2 million worth of cocaine coming to the area twice a month, according to News 11's Bob Jones.
The bust was part of "Operation Tailgate," the codename given to the investigation because the cocaine was delivered in the tailgates of trucks.
"We target the large dealers. Somebody that's going to be having a significant impact on a city. This is one of our larger cases," said Toledo Police Capt. Wes Bombrys.
Nine area men were among those arrested when seven search warrants were issued. Most of the men face charges of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, which could land them in prison for 10 years to life.
"These are some bad guys, and hopefully we will get convictions, put them away and put them out of society for a while," said Lucas County Sheriff James Telb.
This isn't the first time Toledo Police have dealt with one of the suspects. Frank Badgett went on trial in 2004 for murder. When a jury found him not guilty, he talked with News 11.
"I shouldn't have been here this long," Badgett said in 2004. "I shouldn't have had to go through all of this, but I'm glad ... it came out the way it did."
The FBI says Chicago was the source for the large quantities of drugs. A suspected ringleader, Jose Mariscal, is under arrest in Illinois.
FBI agents say the Toledo suspects were dealing most of the cocaine in the south Toledo area, but that their arrests could cut down on other crimes throughout the city.
Many of the suspects in this drug investigation appeared in federal court this afternoon. Agents also seized scales, jewelry, cell phones and $17,000 in cash, News 11's Bob Jones reported.
News 11's 11pm newscast will have more on this story.
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