Portage County sheriff’s deputies said a group of five men they encountered near a park were well-armed and preparing to storm the home of an alleged drug dealer.
Instead, drug agents raided the suspected dealer’s home in Kent while deputies arrested the five men, who were clad in dark clothes bearing law enforcement labels.
Gary Thomas Thompson, 31; Charles Shaffer, 25; Joseph Martin Ivanic-Cardenas, 22; and Scott A. McCleary, 28, all of Massillon; and Martin David Richardson, 25, of Hartville, were arrested at the scene on Dec 5.
Deputies said the men were found at 3:30 a.m. near the Hike and Bike Trail at Lake Rockwell and Brady Lake roads in Franklin Township. The group was dressed in “all black police-type tactical clothing and boots” and possessed a number of weapons, including an AR-15 gun and two air guns that resembled actual firearms, deputies said.
During their investigation, deputies learned the men were set to invade a residence in the 1200 block of Lake Street in Kent and rob a suspected drug dealer of his marijuana, LSD and money.
Portage County Drug Task Force detectives instead obtained a search warrant for the residence and arrested Mark Jordon Santos, 23. Drugs and money were found, deputies said.
Deputies said the case will be presented to a Portage County grand jury for further consideration of charges.