George Hiotis

Major Drug Suspect Pleads Guilty

by George Hiotis on April 14, 2011 at 4:04 am

The alleged ringleader of a large marijuana growing operation in Muskingum County pleaded guilty Thursday afternoon in United State Federal Court in Dayton. Investigators say 41-year-old Hugo Ayala of Columbus and ten other Mexican Nationals were arrested following the September seizure of thousands of marijuana plants in two separate plots in Adams Mills. All were charged with conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and have been detained since their arrests. Court officials say Ayala will be sentenced July 15th at 1:30 pm in Federal Court. He is facing 40 years in prison. Seven of the other suspects will also be sentenced in July. At the time of their arrests then Attorney General Richard Cordray said the men were all connected with the Mexican Drug Cartel bringing workers to the area and growing marijuana.