CINCINNATI – The lead role of three defendants charged with a narcotics conspiracy sentenced to 10 years or more and up to life imprisonment pleaded guilty to a federal court in Cincinnati today.
Derek (Duke) Ragan, 51, appeared in the U.S. District Court today to plead guilty for the conspiracy to distribute more than 400 grams of fentanyl.
Co-defendants Anthony (Pea Head) Sanderson (65) and Lawrence (LB) Bell (68) have also pleaded guilty in this case.
The three were indicted in 2019 after an extensive investigation by the FBI’s Safe Streets Task Force. In 2010, police seized more than US $ 1 million in cash, weapons and drugs from Ragan’s Duke’s Place residence. Ragan forfeited the million dollars in this local case as part of his plea for local gambling fees.
According to court documents in the current case, the co-conspirators brought fentanyl and other drugs to the Cincinnati area, where they were processed, cut, combined, packaged and stored prior to distribution. The defendants used Duke’s Place on Oliver Street in Cincinnati to distribute the illegal opioids.
As part of his plea, Ragan admitted eight specific occasions where he had conspired to sell between 28 and 283 grams of fentanyl. Each transaction involved narcotics valued at $ 2,800 to $ 28,000.
Ragan, Sanderson and Bell will be convicted in future trials. Congress determines the maximum legal penalty. The conviction of the accused is determined by the court based on the advisory judgment guidelines and other legal factors.
Vipal J. Patel, Acting US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Chris Hoffman, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division; and Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot K. Isaac announced the lawsuit filed today with Senior District Court Judge Susan J. Dlott. U.S. Assistant Attorney Kenneth L. Parker and Criminal Chief Karl P. Kadon represent the United States on this case.
# # #