MANSFIELD -- A Mansfielder was one of two men charged with felony drug trafficking and cocaine possession on Thursday by the METRICH Enforcement Unit after a joint operation with U.S. Postal Inspectors.

Herbert Taylor, 50, of 222 Penn Ave., and Akili Lutalo Roberts, 42, of Yuca Valley, Calif., were charged Friday after postal inspectors in Cleveland intercepted a parcel Thursday containing 1.59 pounds of cocaine destined for Mansfield.

Herbert Taylor

Herbert Taylor

Akili Roberts

Akili Lutalo Roberts

METRICH, postal inspectors and Mansfield police conducted a controlled delivery of the cocaine to 222 Penn Ave., arresting the two men after the delivery.

Both were incarcerated at the Richland County Jail, pending their court appearance. The cocaine has an estimated street value of between $45,000 to $50,000, according to Mansfield Police Chief Kenneth Coontz.

The investigation into the source of cocaine, mailed from California, is ongoing and further charges may be forwarded to the Richland County Prosecutor’s Office once the investigation is complete, authorities said.

METRICH Commander Lt. Joseph D. Petrycki said collaboration between federal law enforcement agencies and the METRICH Enforcement Unit continues to have a positive impact in removing illegal drugs from coming into Mansfield and Richland County communities.

The METRICH Enforcement Unit encourages citizens to continue to be proactive by reporting suspected drug activity. Citizens can call the METRICH Crime Tip Hotline at 419-52-CRIME (419-522-7463) or the Task Force line at 419-755-9728.

City editor. 30-year plus journalist. Husband. Father of 3 grown sons and also a proud grandpa. Prior military journalist in U.S. Navy, Ohio Air National Guard. -- Favorite quote: "Where were you when the page was blank?"

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