DEA: Network that supplied drugs in Dayton detective’s shooting death dismantled

An investigation into Washington D.C. area drug cartel cells led authorities to take down the drug supply network allegedly involved in the killing of Dayton Police Detective Jorge Del Rio, the DEA said Wednesday.

The mission of the Drug Enforcement Agency is to save lives, said Shane Todd with the Washington D.C. Division Office, but also to arrest and bring justice to those responsible for drug violence.

“This is a perfect example of how we’re holding the network that delivered the drugs (accountable),” Todd told the Dayton Daily News. “That network is now dismantled.”

A multiyear investigation by more than a dozen agencies across the country and Mexico identified a large network of suppliers and distributors in the D.C. area with connections to the Sinaloa Cartel, authorities said. More than 30 people have been charged, $5.4 million has been recovered and more than 100 firearms have been seized, they said.

Todd said during the investigation, authorities identified a Los Angeles-based transportation network that was delivering drugs to the East Coast.

“During the investigation, we learned that the same L.A. transportation network had also been delivering drugs to Dayton, Ohio, including the drugs that had been the target of the search warrant during which TFO Del Rio was shot and killed,” Todd said.

Del Rio was shot twice on Nov. 5, 2019, while serving a drug-related search warrant at a home on Ruskin Avenue as part of DEA task force in Dayton. Police said Del Rio was walking down steps when he was shot twice in the face.

He died days later on Nov. 7, 2019.

Nathan Goddard, Cahke Cortner and Lionel Combs III are charged in U.S. District Court in connection to the shooting. Authorities suspect Goddard of shooting Del Rio and are deciding whether to seek the death penalty in the case. Prosecutors filed court documents saying they will not seek the death penalty against Cortner and Combs.

Prosecutors have until October to decide whether they are going to pursue the death penalty against Goddard. All three men remain in federal custody.

The U.S. Department of Justice previously announced that six people were charged in connection to a multi-state narcotics conspiracy that involved the search warrant that resulted in Del Rio’s death.

Those charged last year were Rauland Pollard III, of Dayton; Roger Earl Walton Jr., Shawn Dwayne Walton, Noah Alexander Sherrill and Glynn Sewell, all of Charlotte, North Carolina, and formerly of Dayton; and Louis Walton of Charlotte.

“This indictment alleges the group of men charged were responsible for providing local dealers with thousands of doses of fentanyl and cocaine,” then U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers said at the time. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will not rest until we have traced every source of drug supply and held accountable every individual involved in this alleged conspiracy.”

A next court hearing for the case against the men is scheduled for August.

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