Wednesday, February 16, 2000

Drug officers fan out at banks

Four arrested in marijuana probe

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Narcotics officers scoured Greater Cincinnati banks Tuesday as part of an investigation that has yielded four arrests and more than 53 pounds of marijuana.

        Agents from the Regional Enforcement Narcotics Unit (RENU) — a mix of Hamilton County sheriff's deputies and Cincinnati police officers — executed search warrants at several banks, impounding savings accounts and searching safe-deposit boxes.

        Stephen Barnett, spokesman for the sheriff's office and RENU, would not give details of the investigation. The weekend arrests were part of a continuing investigation, he said, but releasing any other information Tuesday would be “premature.”

        Various bank officials confirmed that the officers executed the warrants at several Fifth Third Bank branches; Winton Savings & Loan, 5511 Cheviot Road in Monfort Heights; and Union Savings Bank, 8534 E. Kemper Road in Symmes Township. At least one of the men arrested had accounts at each of the banks.

        RENU officers arrested four men over the weekend accused of possessing more than 20,000 grams of marijuana. In the Cincinnati area, 53 pounds of marijuana could fetch between $53,000 and $63,000, if sold by the pound, according to Tristate narcotics officials. A pound of marijuana typically sells for $1,000 to $1,200.

        Jeffrey M. Geraci, 44, of Colerain Township was charged with drug possession for marijuana and cocaine, conspiracy to drug trafficking and a weapons charge for a handgun found at his home. He was released Tuesday from the Hamilton County Justice Center on a $400,000 cash bond.

        Thomas McIntosh, 51, of Sharonville was charged with possession of marijuana and conspiracy to trafficking in marijuana. He was released Tuesday from the Justice Center on a $400,000 cash bond.

        Mark Louis Kramer, 42, of Colerain Township and Denver C. Baehr, 57, of West Chestereach were charged with felony drug possession. Each posted $250,000 cash bonds on Monday release from the Justice Center.

        Three of the four are scheduled to return to court Feb. 24. Mr. Geraci's next appearance had not been set late Tuesday.


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