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Estimated $2.2 million in cocaine seized in northwest Ohio

• Updated May 6, 2016 at 5:45 PM

TOLEDO — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Toledo Police Chief George Kral, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Marlon Miller, and U.S. Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison announced that a drug trafficking investigation has led to the seizure of cocaine with an estimated street value of $2.2 million.

Members of the Toledo Bulk Cash Smuggling Task Force arrested Fortino Castaneda, 34, of Sunnyside, Wash., on Tuesday after a consensual search of his vehicle led to the discovery of 11 kilograms of cocaine.

Castaneda is a suspect in a long-term drug trafficking investigation that is still under way. He was arrested on charges of trafficking in cocaine and possession of cocaine.

"This is a very significant drug seizure," DeWine said. "Those on this task force did an outstanding job of intercepting this cocaine and stopping it from been divided up and sold on the streets in the Toledo area."

"Law enforcement collaborations like this task force are an important piece of our strategy to reduce crime in the City of Toledo," said Toledo Police Chief George Kral. "Seizures like this not only help to make Toledo a safer place, but also improve the quality of life of our citizens in many ways."

"These dangerous narcotics are not only a significant public safety risk, they also generate huge profits that are often funneled back into other types of illegal activity," said Marlon Miller, special agent in charge of HSI Detroit. “This seizure and arrest are a real testament to the successful collaborative efforts by the Toledo Bulk Cash Smuggling Task Force to keep illegal drugs out of our communities."

"This is another outstanding example of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies working together to make our communities a better place," said U.S. Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison. "This investigation spanned thousands of miles and included U.S. Border Patrol agents from Spokane and Detroit Sectors as well as Air and Marine Interdiction agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection Great Lakes Air and Marine Branch. This collaborative law enforcement effort of dedicated law enforcement professionals continues to be an asset to our communities and will continue to work together to make our nation's streets free of drugs and criminals like this."

Castaneda is being held in the Lucas County Jail on a $1 million bond.

The Toledo Bulk Cash Smuggling Task Force is part of the Ohio Attorney General's Ohio Organized Crime Investigation Commission (OOCIC) in partnership with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations. The task force consists of authorities from the Toledo Police Department, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations, and Lucas County Prosecutor's Office.

Established in 1986, the OOCIC assists local law enforcement agencies in combating organized crime and corrupt activities. The commission is composed of members of the law enforcement community and is chaired by the Ohio Attorney General. In 2015, authorities working in OOCIC task forces across the state seized more than $28.5 million worth of drugs and more than $4.4 million in U.S. currency.

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