Saturday, July 13, 2002

Police: 4 charged in 'major' drug bust

By David Eck
Enquirer contributor

        In what authorities called a “major” marijuana bust, sheriff's deputies Thursday said they confiscated 435 pounds of pot and about $782,000 in cash from a Price Hill home.

        Four people were charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana and possession of marijuana, both felonies, after deputies and Cincinnati police officers raided the home on Considine Avenue.

        “It's a major one,” Hamilton County Sheriff Simon Leis Jr. said.

        Paul Anderson, 41, of Lithonia, Ga., is being held in the Hamilton County Justice Center on a $2 million bond.

        Lenworth Minto, 49, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is being held on a $1.5 million bond.

        Robert Johnston, 37, of Westwood, is being held on $250,000 bond.

        Kimberly Johnson, 25, of Bond Hill is being held on 10 percent of a $10,000 bond.

        The raid culminated a three-year investigation by the Regional Narcotics Unit (RENU) into a suspected drug ring. RENU is made up of sheriff's deputies and Cincinnati police officers.

        Investigators think the ring may have been responsible for distributing more than five tons of marijuana since 1999.

        The sheriff spoke before a table lined with large packages of marijuana and the cash, which was packaged in $10,000 bundles.

        Officials said they think the confiscated marijuana was earmarked for sale in the Tristate. “This was a major distribution organization,” the sheriff said. “It seems like we're getting an awful lot of marijuana in this community.”

        Since January, RENU agents have seized more than 5,500 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated street value of more than $14 million.


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