LIMA — A former inmate at Allen Correctional Institution is facing federal drug charges accused of running a sophisticated drug operation from inside the prison using contraband cellphones.
Fernando Auces, 50, and 12 other people were charged in a 30-count indictment accusing them of participating in a multistate conspiracy to distribute heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, according to federal court records.
Auces is accused of controlling the operation with the assistance of others by using contraband cellphones to communicate with people outside the prison. They would use the cellphones to arrange the delivery and sale of the drugs, according to records.
The 13 were indicted with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute the drugs.
From 2010 to 2014, Auces and others are accused of arranging the deliveries of large amounts of heroin to Ohio from suppliers in Indiana and Texas. He recruited friends and relatives to receive and distribute the drugs to Cleveland, Toledo and other places.
Auces also conspired with an inmate from the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville to share customers and drug suppliers, and arranged to distribute the drugs to various locations in Ohio.
“This was a major interstate drug ring run from inside a prison,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
The charges include conspiracy with intent to distribute drugs, the use of cellphones to facilitate a felony, and traveling from state to state to distribute heroin, according to records.
Authorities also have filed to seize $37,050 in cash seized from a storage locker in Toledo last year, according to records.
Those indicted included: Auces, 50, who was moved to Grafton Correctional Institution; Ricardo Morales-Almazan, 32, at FCI Big Spring in Texas; Alejandro Sanchez, 33, of Toledo; Roberto Agapito Vallejo-Becerra, 50, at East Hidalgo Detention Center in Texas; Alexander Gonzales, 38, at Southern Ohio Correctional Institution in Lucasville; Tammy Gibson, 40, of Akron; Javier Jimenez, 39, of Toledo; Noe Reyes, 33, at FCI Lucero in Alabama; Randy Koelblin, 39, of Cincinnati; Jasmine Reyes, 29, of Omaha, Nebraska; Jenneth De La Rosa, 58, of Toledo; Daniel Ulis, 40, of Toledo; and Anthony King, 41, at Ross Correctional Institution in Chillicothe.
Auces was serving a 20-year sentence out of Hancock County for two counts of engaging in corrupt acts. He was scheduled to be released next year.