Ohio Drug Dealers Get Thousands in Unemployment Aid
A federal grand jury has indicted four Central Ohio residents for conspiring to distribute bulk quantities of fentanyl, crack cocaine, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Three defendants were also charged in a federal mail fraud case, allegedly getting unemployment benefits illegally.
Ricco Lamonte Maye, 38, of Columbus, was indicted in November 2020 and was confined to federal custody at the time.
The superseding indictment returned Feb. 25 charges Airrika N. Anthony, 32, Nicole L. Groves, 31, and Kevin E. Pearson, 57, along with Maye. Maye, Anthony, and Groves are alleged to have conspired to collect illegal unemployment assistance.
The four defendants conspired to possess, distribute, and deal 400 grams or more of fentanyl, 500 grams or more of cocaine, 280 grams of crack, and five grams of methamphetamine, according to court documents.
Maye got $7,400 from Ohio and $10,000 from Michigan for filing for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. He allegedly claimed he was unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic in his application and stated, in one application, that he lived in Michigan.
Anthony allegedly received $13,900 after claiming she could not reach her workplace because of a COVID-19 quarantine.
Groves is listed as unemployed because she cares for a child who was out of school due to the coronavirus, according to the superseding indictment. Groves actually was employed and earning money when she received assistance funds of $11,800.
Maye, Anthony, and Groves are accused of using other peoples’ info to get pandemic help. Maye got some or all of the other people’s benefits.
The drug conspiracy charges, in this case, carry a penalty of 10 years to life in prison if convicted. Conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud carries up to 20 years in prison.