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Pickerington man pleads guilty to federal drug and human trafficking charges


A co-leader in a large-scale narcotics and human trafficking ring pleaded guilty in federal court.

Federal authorities say 37-year-old Cordell Washington, of Pickerington, ran a large-scale drug trafficking organization in Columbus.

Authorities found that Washington, and co-defendant Patrick Saultz, worked together in operations that included sex trafficking, labor trafficking and money laundering.

Court documents state the drug trafficking group brought large quantities of fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, oxycodone and marijuana into Columbus.

The drugs were sold out of more than 20 homes to customers and distributed to other drug traffickers in West Virginia and northern Ohio.

Debbie Holmes has worked at WOSU News since 2009. She has hosted All Things Considered, since May 2021. Prior to that she was the host of Morning Edition and a reporter.