Federal investigators: Ohio prison inmate operates international drug ring behind bars

Federal authorities say a Mexican citizen incarcerated at a privately run Ohio prison used a smuggled cellphone to run an international drug ring that brought opioid pills, heroin, cocaine and other drugs to Cleveland from Mexico.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland on Thursday said 41-year-old Jose Lozano-Leon and nine others have been indicted on a charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances.

Prosecutors say Lozano-Leon is serving an 18-month sentence at the Youngstown prison for illegally re-entering the U.S. They say he used the cellphone to arrange shipments of drugs, including pills that appeared to be oxycodone tablets but in fact contained the powerful opioid fentanyl.

Prosecutors say a co-defendant living in Mexico would arrange to have the drugs shipped to Cleveland.

It’s unclear whether Lozano-Leon has an attorney.

*story by WLWT News