Alleged drug ring member enters change of plea

Barajas pleads guilty to corrupt activity related to Tipp City drug ring

By Melanie Yingst -



MIAMI COUNTY — Jose Barajas, 37, entered a plea of guilty to four felony charges in Miami County Common Pleas Court related to the large-scale drug bust in Tipp City last fall.

With help from a Spanish interpreter, Barajas, also known as Cesar Monciavaiz, appeared for the change of plea hearing to plead guilty to the superseding grand jury indictments of one count first degree felony engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, two counts of first degree felony aggravated funding of drug trafficking and one count of second degree felony conspiracy to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Barajas was represented by public defender Jack Hemm. A joint plea agreement with the state recommends Barajas to serve three years in prison on all counts. The agreement did not include a clause that he would have to testify against the other defendants. Barajas’ sentence will be mandatory and he is not eligible for early release. He also will serve five years of post-release control.

Judge Jeannine Pratt stated Barajas could face up to 41 years in prison and pay a total of $35,000 fine for all charges. Bararjas is also subject to have his driver’s license suspended up to five years.

Barajas said he has been in the U.S. for approximately 20 years, but is not a U.S. citizen. Judge Pratt notified Barajas that he may face deportation and be denied naturalization due to the criminal charges.

He was ordered to complete a pre-sentence investigation and will be sentenced May 2.

Last September, Barajas was arrested in the Dayton area by the Montgomery County Regional Agencies Narcotics and Gun Enforcement (RANGE) task force. Four more people are still wanted in connection with the case.

Three Tipp City family members were also indicted by a grand jury for the drug ring operations which were first uncovered by local and federal law enforcement in 2014.

Brothers Mario Segura, 33, and Erick Segura, 24, along with Erick’s wife, Aleesha Segura, 22, were served warrants for their arrest related to the drug ring at a Tipp City residence Sept. 2, 2016.

All three are set to appear in Miami County Common Pleas Court for change of plea hearings by the end of the month.

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office arrested the three subjects at 109 N. First St., Tipp City, on indictments stemming from the alleged drug ring. Charges range from possession of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, money laundering, and various other charges involving patterns of corrupt activity and conspiracy.

Warrants are still outstanding for Dora N. Avendano, 37, and Hugo Avendano, 31, both formerly of Tipp City; Ricardo Mondragon, 26, formerly of Dayton; and Jose Galvin, 32, formerly of New Carlisle. All subjects’ whereabouts are still currently unknown.

According to officials, the investigation started two years ago, when the drugs were initially seized from the Tipp City home.

Barajas pleads guilty to corrupt activity related to Tipp City drug ring

By Melanie Yingst