Waiman Yu

DEA used GPS tracker to arrest local suspected drug trafficker

A Drug Enforcement Agency sting led to the arrest of a local man suspected of being part of a large drug trafficking organization for nearly 20 years.

The man — who was once sentenced to six years for conspiracy to commit murder in Greene County — faces up to life in prison if he’s convicted of the crimes he’s indicted on in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

Waiman Yu, 39, was arrested July 17 after the DEA put a GPS tracking device on his car and stopped him with drugs in his Hyundai Elantra, according to a federal search warrant affidavit and return.

RELATED: 26 pounds of crystal meth seized by troopers on I-70

Yu also is connected to a recent case in which 26 pounds of crystal meth was seized during a traffic stop in Preble County, according to court documents.

Yu pleaded not guilty during his Wednesday arraignment to charges of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of meth, possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and felon in possession of a firearm.

Two of those counts include minimum sentences of 10 years to life while the gun charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.

RELATED: Drug cases ‘plaguing our region,’ U.S. attorney says

Task Force Officer Steven Duteil wrote that a source said in June that Yu was transporting a large amount of U.S. currency in a false gas tank from Ohio to California. The source reported Yu was back in Ohio a couple days later, Duteil wrote.

The affidavit said Yu was at the Knights Inn Motel in Miamisburg and preparing to go to Arizona to pick up heroin or fentanyl. The Volkswagen Passat he had been driving was later stopped with 26 pounds of crystal meth in it.

Dennis Olinger and Haley Bigelow, who were in the car, were charged in that case. Bigelow also pleaded not guilty during her Wednesday arraignment.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

In establishing background, the agent also wrote that in 1998, the Dayton DEA had information that Yu was part of packaging and transporting 28 kilograms of cocaine from Ohio to Chicago and handling $500,000 at the direction of Eduardo Bonilla.

Bonilla was convicted in a Greene County murder case in the death of Mark “Corky” Miller and sentenced to life in prison. Yu pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit the murder that happened in Yu’s residence and served time in prison.

In June 2016, the DEA had surveillance on Yu meeting with suspected drug traffickers from Columbus at the same Knights Inn, but the surveillance was terminated when nothing criminal was seen.

RELATED: Local drug trade ‘bigger problem than we thought’

Duteil wrote that he obtained a federal warrant for installation of a tracking device on the Passat, which was stopped June 21 in Preble County.

The task force officer wrote that Olinger said he was part of a drug distribution ring operated by a Hispanic male who was incarcerated. Duteil wrote that he believed that person to be Bonilla.

The DEA then got approval to place a GPS device on Yu’s rented Hyundai Elantra, which the agency did from July 12 to July 17.

RELATED: Illinois man sentenced to 11 years for $250K worth of meth

Duteil wrote that vehicle traveled to Arizona for a brief stay and then returned to Ohio. Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers stopped the car July 17.

A drug dog alerted to the presence of narcotics and law enforcement discovered a kilogram of heroin hidden inside the vehicle.

Yu wore orange Shelby County Jail clothing during his arraignment Wednesday.

Bigelow was not in custody before Wednesday’s hearing. Assistant U.S. attorney Brent Tabacchi said she was in treatment and had been compliant, so her bond would be continued.

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Pretrial conferences were scheduled for both Yu and Bigelow for later this month.

A bill of information for possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of meth has been entered for Olinger, who is being held in Butler County Jail.

Tabacchi, who earlier estimated the meth’s street value to be at least $400,000, said the 26-pound seizure was one of the largest in Ohio.

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