By Patricia Meade
Users, mostly from the suburbs, came to town for their fix.
YOUNGSTOWN — It’s important to let concerned families of heroin addicts know that dealer suspects “Haus” and “Skittles” are in custody, an investigator says.
Greg Wilson said he started an investigation two years ago based on information supplied by people in the suburbs — addicts’ family members — who knew only the street names of those supplying the heroin. Wilson, a Poland Township police officer, is a member of the Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force drug unit.
The investigation led to separate secret indictments in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court last week. One of the eight defendants was already in custody, with five others being arrested Tuesday.
The principals, Hasson D. “Haus” Floyd, 29, of Manhattan Avenue; his cousin Raymond “Skittles” Floyd, 28, of Stansbury Drive; Jeffery Gallagher, 26, of Creed Street, Struthers; and Robert A. Morris, 25, of Lakeview Drive, Hubbard, are named in an 18-count drug-trafficking indictment. All are in custody.
Kasey Shidel, an assistant county prosecutor, said both Floyds were convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 1998. Hasson Floyd faces the most time in prison, up to 24 years, Shidel said.
The others charged are Joshua M. Orr, 27, of West South Range Road, North Lima; Isaac Ford, 29, of Chicago Avenue; Andrew H. Hamerick, 49, of West Dennick Avenue; and David D. Detwiler, 35, of West Salem Road, Columbiana. Orr and Hamerick are charged with trafficking, Ford and Detwiler are charged with possession of drugs. Ford is also charged with having a weapon under disability. As of Tuesday, Hamerick and Detwiler remained at large.
All eight charged have criminal records, Wilson said.
Pointing to an organization chart, Lt. Robin Lees, task force commander, said Hasson Floyd, a significant player, “saw that Robert Morris and Raymond Floyd got their dope and then it trailed down to the others.”
Lees said the men were “a source for the suburbs.” He hopes the users now get treatment.
Wilson said the heroin addicts live in Austintown, Canfield, Columbiana, Beaver Township, Boardman, Lowellville, New Middletown, Poland, Struthers and Youngstown. He said since most addicts can’t afford a cell phone, they used pay phones or friends’ phones to call and arrange to meet their dealers, usually on Youngstown’s South and West sides, with some sales in Liberty.
Wilson declined to name specific streets. He said investigators were able to identify several selling locations, observe the traffic and get license numbers. Undercover drug buys were also made.
The drug transactions ranged from $40 to $100 per day, depending on the users’ addiction, he said. To get the money, he said the users — men and women in their late teens to mid-20s — committed a variety of crimes, including retail theft, forgery, fraud and theft from family members.
He said he learned, during an interview with Hasson Floyd after his arrest, that the take “was $500 on a bad day and $1,500 on a good day,” depending on the number of transactions the dealers made.
The social aspect of the drug use was destruction of families and absenteeism at work, Lees said.
“What we have here is a small cell within a larger problem,” Lees said. “More arrests are absolutely possible.”
Anyone who has information about drug activity can call the task force at (330) 788-9960.