Secret indictment issued in drug ring

LISBON — Another man from Warren has been served a secret indictment for his alleged involvement in a heroin and cocaine distribution group in Salem during a three-year period.

Antonio T. Torres II, also known as AT, 28, Warren, is charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity with specification. The charge alleges that beginning on Oct. 17, 2013 and continuing through Sept. 23, 2016, Torres and six co-defendants engaged in a pattern of corrupt activity which included but was not limited to trafficking in drugs, complicity to trafficking in drugs, money laundering, felonious assault, complicity to felonious assault, possession of drugs, aggravated burglary, complicity to aggravated burglary and conspiracy.

The charge is one of a 51-count indictment issued by the county grand jury in November. Many of the indictments have been served, although additional ones are believed pending.

In a press release about the indictments on Monday, Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Gamble noted the indictment was the result of a long collaborative investigation between members of the Salem Police Department and the Columbiana County Prosecutor’s Office. The investigation began during the summer of 2014 with thousands of hours devoted to the investigation.

“The conduct of the persons named in this indictment placed a heavy toll on our community and we want those watching to know that this conduct will come with a heavy price,” Gamble wrote. “These charges are a direct blow to those bringing death and destruction here.”

Salem Police Chief J.T. Panezott and Gamble are expected to hold a press conference on Tuesday to further talk about the investigation and how it has effected of heroin and opioid epidemic in the area.

“We are prepared to hold this organization responsible for their part in the epidemic and we will continue to work to make our streets safe for the citizens of Salem and our surrounding community by targeting the drug dealers,” Panezott said in the press release.