FREMONT (13abc Action News) – "We've cleaned house pretty well,” says Fremont Mayor Jim Ellis.
Mayor Ellis calls it possibly the biggest drug bust in Fremont history.
After an 18-month investigation between local, state and federal agencies, dozens of suspected heroin and cocaine dealers are facing criminal charges.
One of the 35 suspects is facing 95 drug-related charges alone. Hayward Jones of Fremont is being held at the Sandusky County Jail on one million dollars bond.
The 39-year-old has a 26-page indictment which includes nearly one hundred felony counts of drug trafficking, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, and conspiracy.
The mayor announced this week that 34 others are also facing charges of heroin and cocaine trafficking and possession, as well as money laundering.
One woman – 38-year-old Chanona Young of Fremont who is facing 15 counts – is labelled a “major drug offender” in her indictment.
The mayor says the indictments come after an 18-month investigation involving Fremont Police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.
"Those individuals have been spreading their poison throughout our community and adjoining communities and causing family disruption, ruined lives,” says Ellis. “People have been dying from heroin overdoses."
"That's a lot. It's a small town,” says Jared Barclay who lives in Fremont.
Many folks in Fremont tell 13abc they are shocked the agencies netted so many suspects.
"It's surprising, really,” says Barclay. “I mean, you don't see it on the street. You don't walk down the street and see it. But it's a good thing. I'm glad."
The mayor says officers spent thousands of hours building the Fremont drug cases which are now being prosecuted by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
"We're very confident that these people are going to be going to prison for an extended period of time,” says Ellis. "We've cleaned house pretty well, but where there's a vacuum, other people come in. Unfortunately, there's probably still a demand."