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Standoff ends with ‘armed and dangerous’ meth conspiracy fugitive behind bars

UPDATE @ 10:40 p.m.:

A fugitive considered “armed and dangerous” is now behind bars.

Joshua Leach, 34, of Plain City, was arrested around 8:30 p.m. following a two-hour standoff in Chillicothe and booked into the Ross County Jail.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency sought Leach in connection to a methamphetamine trafficking operation, and the U.S. Marshal’s Service tracked Leach today a residence in the 300 block of Fyffe Hollow Road, according to the Ross County Sheriff’s Office.

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Joshua Leach (ROSS COUNTY JAIL)

FIRST REPORT

One of the fugitives named in an alleged methamphetamine trafficking conspiracy has been apprehended, but the other is considered “armed and dangerous,” according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

Joshua Leach, 34, of Plain City, is still wanted.

RELATED: Mexican chemist involved in major area meth trafficking operation

“The DEA has reason to believe that Joshua Leach … is armed and potentially dangerous,” Special Agent Cheryl Davis of the Detroit Field Division said. “We would like to reiterate to the public that if seen or if information about his whereabouts are known to contact the DEA Dayton Office at (937) 903-5860.”

Davis said Brandi Loy aka Brandi Richey, 34, was arrested in Tuesday afternoon in Columbus when police conducted a traffic stop on the south side of Columbus and took her into custody.

RELATED: 6 pounds of meth in mail, jail call nets long sentence in drug case

As of Wednesday morning, defendant Takeea Trammell, 41, of Dayton, had not yet turned herself in as she said she would, according to Davis.

A recently unsealed superseding indictment in Dayton’s U.S. District Court pointed to Salvador Ramirez aka “Listo” as a leader of a Dayton-based, cartel-linked organization drug trafficking conspiracy that included a seizure of 140 pounds of meth.

RELATED: How Mexican drug cartels move heroin to Miami Valley street corners

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said a Mexican chemist allegedly oversaw operations of the organization. Seven defendants were indicted on a combined six counts including possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of meth, more than 400 grams of fentanyl, more than 100 grams of heroin and money laundering.

The latest seizure in the year-long investigation included the 140 pounds of meth, nearly 15.5 pounds of fentanyl, nearly 4.5 pounds of heroin, more than $130,000 in cash and a Bersa 9mm pistol, according to U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Benjamin C. Glassman and court documents.

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

Those indicted and in custody are Ramirez, 23 of West Chester, Tamara McQueen, 21 of Hamilton, Luiz Roberto Diaz-Magana, 29 of Queretaro, Mexico, and Jesus “Jesse” Garcia, 49 of West Chester

A DEA agent said Tuesday that the Ramirez group is linked to a “Mexican transnational criminal organization” and is associated with a high-ranking member of a “violent, international gang.”

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

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