Niles man faces drug-trafficking charges

By Jordan Cohen


Police say a heroin overdose at a Royal Mall Drive apartment last September led to an investigation resulting in the arrest of the apartment tenant Friday.

Jaylen Dukes, 24, is charged with drug trafficking and is in the Trumbull County Jail pending a hearing Monday in Niles Municipal Court.

Capt. Jay Holland, acting police chief, said during a two-month period, undercover officers made six purchases of heroin, crack and powdered cocaine and prescription narcotics from Dukes.

“The overdose in Dukes’ apartment helped put us in the right direction,” Holland said. “We discovered the apartment was a hot spot.”

Holland said police were able to help the overdose victim recover.

The police department’s Special Response Team, which conducted the raid and arrest, confiscated heroin-packaging materials, a scale containing a yet-to-be-determined substance and cash, Holland said.

County jail records show Dukes has a previous arrest record for aggravated burglary and domestic violence.

This is not the first time police have had to investigate illegal drug activity at the Royal Mall Apartments, a low-income housing complex, Holland said.

“Their [complex] management has been extremely cooperative,” Holland said. “[Unfortunately], these areas have had their share of criminal activity.”

Dukes’ arrest marks the second raid by the city’s special investigation/drug unit, which was restored after residents passed a 0.5 percent income-tax increase earlier this year. Funds from the tax increase are allocated solely for the police and fire departments.

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