Suspect arraigned on drug-related conspiracy charges


By Sam Wildow

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TROY — A suspect charged in connection with the 2016 Tipp City large-scale drug operation was arraigned this week in Miami County Common Pleas Court.

Ricardo Mondragon, 31, entered a plea of not guilty to the indictment against him, which includes a number of drug-related charges. The charges include first-degree felony engaging in a pattern of corrupt activities, second-degree felony conspiracy to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity, eight counts of first-degree felony aggravated funding of drug trafficking, third-degree felony money laundering, and multiple counts of felony drug possession in regard to heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana.

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office named Mondragon as a co-conspirator to the 2016 drug operation. His whereabouts were unknown at the time, but he had a previous address in Dayton. According to online jail records, Mondragon was arrested in San Diego, Cali. before being incarcerated in the Miami County Jail last week.

Prosecutors on last Friday asked for a high bond for Mondragon, stating Mondragon had given false information to investigators. His bond was set at $500,000. His arraignment was rescheduled to this week in order to allow for the court to obtain a Spanish interpreter for Mondragon.

According to previous reports, Mondragon was wanted in connection with a large-scale drug operation located in and around Tipp City that the Sheriff’s Office and other local agencies cracked down on in 2016.

The drug activity was a “wholesale” operation, not street level deals, according to the Sheriff’s Office, regarding the importation, distribution, and sale of heroin and methamphetamine within Miami County and the surrounding Miami Valley.

The investigation involved multiple agencies working together and sharing information regarding kilogram quantities of heroin and methamphetamine being smuggled from Mexico into the Miami Valley area to be sold.

According to officials, the investigation started in 2014, when the drugs were initially seized from Tipp City homes. The seized drugs had a street value of more than $1 million.

Mondragon remains incarcerated in the Miami County Jail. A pretrial hearing for Mondragon was scheduled for Dec. 20.

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