COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office said a Columbus man who was the leader of a multi-state drug operation was convicted and sentenced to prison on Tuesday.
Deangelo Tellis was sentenced to 16.5 to 22 years in prison for trafficking in drugs and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.
The prosecutor’s office said the investigation spanned four years with 17 defendants, six narcotics trap houses, 10 state and federal law enforcement agencies and 18 months of litigation.
Members of the Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force and Zanesville/Muskingum County Drug Unit began their investigation into Tellis and his girlfriend in 2018.
The prosecutor’s office said Tellis recruited four brothers and former members of a gang to travel to Zanesville to sell drugs for him and Barrientos. Two of those brothers were juveniles at the time.
Tellis set each brother up in homes where the narcotics were distributed. Authorities say Tellis moved hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine and other drugs.
As law enforcement built its case against Tellis by catching his subordinates, the prosecutor’s office said he expanded his operations regionally.
In January 2021, Tellis traveled to Los Angeles where he arranged to resupply his operation and purchased 22 pounds of methamphetamine and a kilo (2.2 pounds) of fentanyl.
Tellis had two people who thought they were transporting marijuana to drive the drugs across the country. Law enforcement was able to intercept the shipment in Kansas.
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney John Litle, who handled the case, said that it was “a real pleasure working this case with our outstanding local drug investigators and our federal partners. This was a tough, complex case with many moving parts all across the country.”