VINTON — A Gallia County man currently faces federal drug charges after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration arrested him on charges of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine.
Felipe Beach waived a preliminary meeting Monday after being arrested June 15.
According to federal papers, DEA agents suspected a drug trafficking operation from the Gallia area to Columbus in July 2015. Beach, of Gallia County, was identified at the time to be living in Gallipolis and labeled as a “cell head” of said operation while working with a suspected courier. Court documents say Beach was allegedly receiving bulk cocaine from a Mexican operation connected with locations in Kentucky.
During the same month, DEA initiated surveillance on the alleged trafficking ring. While observing Beach interacting with suspected couriers and suppliers in Reynoldsburg, they followed the courier away from the location. Beach followed. Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers conducted a violation traffic stop on the courier on Interstate 270 just north of Interstate 70. According to records, “approximately two kilograms of cocaine and approximately two ounces of marijuana were recovered from (courier’s) vehicle.”
The courier agreed to be interviewed by DEA agents after signing a rights waiver, according to records. He allegedly told agents he had been asked to make a “run for Beach.” Reportedly, the courier had knowledge Beach was receiving illicit drugs at Morgan Center Road in Vinton. The courier exchanged around one kilogram of product for just under $40,000 for which he was paid $1,000 for the delivery a few days before being picked up by troopers, according to federal papers.
In October 2015, Kentucky-based DEA agents reportedly witnessed Beach meeting with suspected traffickers in Lexington, Ky. Surveillance video was allegedly taken of the meeting.
While monitoring phone conversations through wire taps, criminal justice records state a 28-kilogram shipment of cocaine was intercepted by police in November 2015 because of the investigation.
Beach was then arrested after officers searched a Morgan Center Road residence in mid-June of this year. Gallia Sheriff’s Office confirmed helping in the investigation.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.