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Several Suspected Gang Members Arrested in FBI Raid
COLUMBUS (Ken Hines/Kate Liebers) -- Nearly two dozen people said to be associated with the new generation of the "Short North Posse" gang were indicted Wednesday.
The indictments came hours after the suspects' arrests, which followed a series of raids focused on alleged gang activity in Central Ohio.
The raids resulted in the arrests of 22 people accused of drug trafficking, carrying guns and torturing victims.
Officers have been investigating the Short North Posse for about a year. They said the ring leader, Jermonte Fletcher, was part of the same gang busted twice since the 1990s.
As Fletcher has grown up, so has his organization.
"It's an enterprise," Assistant U.S. Attorney Dave DeVillers said. "It's not some street gang anymore."
Agents said Fletcher and other leaders brought drugs like oxycotin, crack cocaine and heroin to Columbus.
While drug-sniffing dogs and other tactics helped steer them toward the suspects, agents said the alleged gang members' suspicious spending was the strongest lead.
They said Columbus's Hollywood Casino helped authorities figure out who was who.
The casino officials said the gang leader spent more than $100,000 in the month of October alone.
Although many suspects were arrested Wednesday, police are still searching for Fletcher.
The arrested suspects face at least 10 years in prison as a result of the federal charges.
Agents have also targeted alleged gang members or associates in West Virginia in connection with the investigation into the Short North Posse.