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  Oakridge Dr. Man Charged With Intent To Distribute $112,000 Worth Of Fentynal  
  Federal Officials Tracked Mail Package From Northbridge, Calif. To Boardman:   November 19, 2020 Edition  
     BY JOHN A. DARNELL JR.
      associate editor
      The day before 45-year-old Rodney Self, of 653 Oakridge Ave., was arrested last week on federal charges of possession with intent to deliver/to distribute some 700 grams of fentynal (street value of upwards of $112,000), he met with two Boardman police officers at 1:30 a.m. on Sun., Nov. 8 in the parking lot of Dick’s Sporting Goods.
      Self requested to meet with police about an assault he said happened about two hours before.
      Self was busted near Judson Ave. in Youngstown, after retrieving a package that had been delivered to his home from a false address in California.
      A drug-sniffing dog had alerted on the package. Law enforcement agents moved-in when Self left his Oakridge Dr. home with the package.
      When Boardman PD officers Ptl. Brian Moss and Ptl. Thomas Zorzi met with Self, they said he was bleeding from the left side of his face, and noted Self proceeded to say he had been allowing a woman named Brittany Thomas, and her boyfriend, ‘Reggie,’ stay at his home because they had no other place to stay, adding that Thomas rented from him.
      Self told police he arrived at his home about 11:30 p.m. on Sat., Nov. 7 and went to go to sleep, when ‘Reggie’ entered the room and began repeatedly punching him, while continually asking “Where’s my bread?”
      “Self claimed he did not know what ‘Reggie’ was referring to,” Officer Zorzi said.
      Self told police he fled on foot from the home.
      Police escorted Self back to 653 Oakridge Dr., where they spoke with Brittany Thomas. She told police Self came home about 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 7 with another man named ‘Ryan,’ and Self was already bleeding from the face.
      According to Thomas, Self said he ‘got jumped’ somewhere on Griselda Ave. in Youngstown, and that Self had been selling several items from the house to support his drug habit.
      When asked about ‘Reggie,’ Thomas said she didn’t know him and was not “currently dating a male by that name,” Officer Zorzi said.
      Self also told the officer ‘Reggie’ would bring him drugs in exchange for a place to stay.
      About 10:30 a.m., shortly after he was arrested on the federal charge, Self’s wife, Mary, called police saying there were people staying in the home at 653 Oakridge Dr. who didn’t belong there, according to a law enforcement document.
      Mrs. Self said she was in Virginia and would be ‘back in town’ for a divorce hearing.
      * * * * * * * * * *
      Self’s residence in Boardman came to the attention of federal officials on Oct. 20, when U.S. Postal Service inspectors identified a suspected drug parcel that was addressed to a ‘Josh Thomas’ at 653 Oakridge Dr. The package bore a return address of a ‘Jacob Thomas’ in Northbridge, Calif., according to an affidavit filed in United States District Court.
      After a narcotic detection dog alerted on the package, a search warrant was obtained and the package was opened and found to contain acetyl fentanyl.
      On Oct. 21, the fentanyl was removed from the package and replaced with a monitoring device, then sent for delivery to the Oakridge Ave. address.
      It was then delivered to Self’s home by an U.S. Postal Service undercover agent, while undercover law enforcement personnel monitored the delivery.
      According to the federal affidavit, about 15 minutes after the package was delivered, Self got into his Dodge Nitro and drove away.
      “Agents followed Self (who) conducted three maneuvers that agents knew from experience and training were ‘cleaning maneuvers’ that criminals use to determine if they are being followed,” Mark Bodo, special agent for Homeland Security Investigations, said.
      According to the affidavit, due to Self’s erratic driving, his Nitro was pulled over on Judson Ave. in Youngstown. A female in the car with Self was arrested on a warrant for possession of cocaine that had been issued out of Trumbull County.
      When asked about the package delivered to his residence, Self said he had been contacted by a man known as ‘Dion Little Drop,’ who wanted to know if he could get some ‘Easy’ shoes delivered to Self’s residence. Once the package was received by Self, ‘Dion’ said he wanted it delivered to a fast food restaurant on Midlothian Blvd. in Youngstown, according to the affidavit.
      Self told law enforcement that ‘Dion’ was a co-conspirator in the fentynal transaction.
      According to the affidavit, “a few days before the controlled delivery,” a car driven by Dion was stopped by Youngstown police.
      “[Dion] pulled into a driveway and fled on foot, but ran into a tree,” the affidavit says, adding “Police checked the path he ran and found a large bag of crack cocaine...[and]...and $1569 in his pockets.”
      * * * * * * * * * *
      On Nov. 3, at 1:40 p.m., police and EMS personnel were sent to 653 Oakridge Dr. on a call of a male who was overdosing.
      According to Boardman police, Brittany Thomas said that she believed that Rodney Self had overdosed.
      Thomas said she had heard a ‘loud thud’ and found Self laying on a bedroom floor, barely breathing and unresponsive.
      Police said they found Self curled-up in a fetal position with a syringe clinched in his left hand.
      “Self denied any drug usage,” Ptl. Mike Calautti said.
      * * * * * * * * * *
      Boardman Police Department records show that Brittany Thomas was found by police on Mar. 17, 2020 “naked, wet and unconscious in the shower” in room #240 of the Days Inn, 7393 South Ave.
      After she was given several doses of naloxone, Ptl. Angelo Pasquale said Thomas became alert and began answering questions, saying she had snorted heroin and had overdosed.
      A witness told police a man using the name of Michael Childs had rented the room, but left prior to police arriving saying he “couldn’t be around for this.”
 
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