MIAMI COUNTY — The fifth member of a large drug ring was arraigned in Miami County Common Pleas Court on Monday.
Hugo Avendano, 32, was extradited from a Pasco County Jail in Florida and incarcerated at the Miami County Jail on Thursday.
On July 15, Avendano, formerly of Tipp City, was apprehended by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office in Florida on Miami County warrants. Avendano is the fifth of eight suspects to be taken into custody for involvement in a large-scale narcotics operation involving the import and distribution of heroin and methamphetamine into the Miami Valley.
Avendano appeared in court along with attorney Andrew Pratt. He entered a plea of not guilty to the following charges: first-degree felony engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, four counts of aggravated funding of drug trafficking, all first-degree felonies; second-degree conspiracy to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity; four counts of third-degree money laundering.
Miami County Assistant Prosecutor Janna Parker recommended a high bond due to the nature of the offenses and because Avendano fled from Ohio to Florida during the pending investigation.
Judge Christopher Gee set a blanket bond of $500,000 on all charges. Avendano gave his mother’s address in Tipp City as his point of contact, which is where three of the co-defendants were located upon their arrest in September 2016.
A pre-trial was set for Sept. 19.
Co-defendant Mario Segura, 33, of Tipp City, was sentenced to serve three years in prison for 21 felony charges related to the drug ring he, his relatives and others were operating in Tipp City since 2013.
Co-defendant Aleesha Segura-White, was sentenced to serve the maximum five years of community control for seven counts of third-degree money laundering and one count of fifth-degree drug possession last month.
Her husband, Erick Segura, was sentenced to serve 10 years on all charges as part of a plea agreement with the state.
The Seguras were served warrants for their arrest related to the drug ring at the 109 N. First St., Tipp City residence in September 2016. The drug activity was a “wholesale” operation, not street-level deals. Several kilos of methamphetamine, heroin and other drugs were recovered at the home during the initial investigation. Several vehicles were also confiscated during the raid.
Jose Barajas, 37, a Mexican national, entered a plea of guilty to four felony charges in a change of plea hearing to plead guilty to the superseding grand jury indictments of one count first-degree felony engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, two counts of first-degree felony aggravated funding of drug trafficking and one count of second-degree felony conspiracy to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity. A joint plea agreement with the state was followed and Barajas is serving three years in prison on all counts.
Warrants are still outstanding for Hugo’s wife Dora N. Avendano, 37, formerly of Tipp City; Ricardo Mondragon, 26, formerly of Dayton; and Jose Galvin, 32, formerly of New Carlisle. All subjects’ whereabouts are still currently unknown.
According to officials, the investigation started two years ago, when the drugs were initially seized from the Tipp City home.
In other news:
Miami County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeannine Pratt granted Timothy Villasenor, 54, of Dayton, treatment in lieu of conviction hearing on Sept. 5.
Villasenor was charged with a third-degree felony theft for stealing approximately $118,000 from his employer La Quinta Inn in Tipp City. The alleged embezzlement occurred from January 2013 until April 2016.
According to court documents Villasenor’s in lieu of conviction statement said alcohol was a factor leading him to the criminal offense. The statement also said, “The defendant has an alcohol issue which triggers a secondary gambling issue which led to the behavior alleged.”