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FBI executes Elyria drug raid

  • fbi-at-353-pemberton-house-jpg

    FBI agents. state troopers and Elyria Police were on the scene at Pemberton Court in Elyria on Saturday afternoon. There was no word as to arrests, the FBI only said they were executing a search warrant on the home at 353 Pemberton.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

  • fbi-seearch-jpg

    Agents from the FBI looked for evidence inside two vehicles on Pemberton Court in Elyria Saturday afternoon. There was no word as to arrests, the FBI only said they were executing a search warrant on the home at 353 Pemberton.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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ELYRIA — Agents from the FBI’s Cleveland office conducted a raid in the Maslyk Estates neighborhood Saturday, searching a house in what is believed to have been a drug bust.

It was not immediately clear whether anyone was arrested, nor whether any contraband was seized. Assistant Special Agent in Charge Alvin Winston, with the FBI’s Cleveland office, told a Chronicle-Telegram photographer more information would be released later.

A message seeking additional comment was left for an FBI spokesperson Saturday evening.

Several residents of the neighborhood said they were told the raid was related to illegal drugs, though that could not be immediately confirmed with authorities.

An Elyria police cruiser was positioned at the intersection of Pemberton Drive and Sandpiper Avenue, blocking traffic. Agents earlier had asked onlookers and media to move back.

Elyria police Capt. Chris Costantino said the FBI was handling the matter, and Elyria officers simply assisted at the scene. He referred all other questions to the federal agency.

Outside the house at 353 Pemberton Drive, a white box truck with an awning alongside sat in the driveway, a table full of boxes sitting under the awning to keep them out of a steady mid-afternoon rain.

A black box truck sat on the street with lights on, and people in blue FBI shirts with yellow lettering announcing them as members of the agency’s Evidence Response Team walked back and forth from the house to the trucks. Some wore latex gloves and one carried a camera.

Later, a flatbed tow truck arrived and backed into the driveway to haul away a light-colored SUV.

Lorain County Auditor’s records indicate the house, which was built in 2002, was last sold to a man and a woman for $200,000 in November 2016.

Though it was unclear if Saturday’s raid was related, the FBI, DEA and the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio have been targeting the illegal sale of synthetic opioids in Lorain County through Operation SOS, which stands for “Synthetic Opioid Surge.”

Numerous local police departments also are involved in the operation, alongside federal agents.

Photographer Bruce Bishop contributed to this story. Contact Dave O’Brien at (440) 329-7129 or do’brien@chroniclet.com. Follow him at @daveobrienCT on Twitter.


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