"Operation Tombstone" Disrupts Two Crack Cocaine
SEP 4 -- (Evansville, IN) A federal grand jury in the Southern District of Indiana has indicted 26 individuals who were allegedly members of two separate alleged crack cocaine distribution organizations operating in the Evansville, Indiana area. The grand jury handed down two separate indictments, one on members of the Jeremy Simmons organization, and one charging the members of the David Neighbors organization. Approximately 150 law enforcement officers from several agencies participated in the execution of federal arrest and search warrants that were served on individuals and residences in Evansville, Indiana, Henderson, Owensboro, and Louisville, Kentucky, as well as in Chicago, Illinois.
The investigation into the two alleged drug distribution organizations began in early 2007 as a joint operation involving the DEA Evansville office and the FBI Evansville Safe Streets Task Force. The investigation, dubbed Operation Tombstone uncovered two groups of individuals, some with violent criminal histories and ties to street gangs, that are alleged to have distributed large amounts of crack cocaine in Evansville. Operation Tombstone lasted for eight months and included the seizure and undercover purchases of approximately 900 grams crack cocaine, and approximately one half kilogram of powder cocaine from alleged members of the drug distribution conspiracies. The federal search warrants yielded additional controlled substances, including crack cocaine, and multiple firearms. As of the afternoon of August 30th, twenty-three of the twenty-six defendants have been arrested.
“This long term joint investigation included lots of long hours and hard work,” stated DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Dennis Wichern. “And it paid off today with the 26 indictments and arrest of 23 individuals. The DEA is glad to have partnered with the FBI Evansville Safe Streets Task Force and the other agencies involved to rid Evansville of these two violent gangs distributing crack cocaine.” Other agencies assisting in the investigation include the United States Marshals Service, the Evansville Vanderburgh County Drug Task Force, the Evansville Police Department, the Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Department, and the Indiana State Police. In addition to these agencies, DEA offices in Louisville, Indianapolis, FBI Indianapolis, and the Warrick County Sheriff’s Department assisted in the execution of search and arrest warrants.
The indictment of Jeremy Simmons, aka (“Chicago Mike”) and members of his organization alleges that Simmons acquired large amounts of cocaine from his sources of supply in Chicago, Illinois and transported or directed other members of the organization to transport it back to the Evansville area for distribution. It is also alleged that several members of the conspiracy distributed the cocaine on a “front,” or consignment to other distributors who would pay for it after its sale to customers on the street. The indictment also states that the Simmons organization utilized rental vehicles to transport the cocaine for distribution in Evansville. Eight (8) individuals have been charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five (5) kilograms or more of cocaine and fifty (50) grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”):
Jeremy Simmons (aka Chicago Mike), 31 of Henderson, KY
The indictment of David Neighbors, aka “Vato” and members of his organization alleges that Neighbors received large amounts of powder cocaine and crack cocaine from his source of supply in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas Perkins. In addition, Neighbors allegedly transported or directed other members of the organization to transport the cocaine and crack cocaine from Louisville to Evansville where it was then distributed. It is also alleged that several members of the conspiracy distributed the cocaine on a “front,” or consignment to other distributors who would pay for it after its sale to customers. The indictment also states that the Neighbors organization utilized rental vehicles to transport the cocaine for distribution in Evansville. Eighteen (18) individuals have been charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute five (5) kilograms or more of cocaine and fifty (50) grams or more of cocaine base (“crack cocaine”):
Thomas Perkins, 29 of Louisville, KY
The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Indiana by Assistant US Attorney Matthias D. Onderak. If convicted, all the defendants face a possible prison term of up to life without parole. The possible sentences for Jeremy Simmons, Maurice Mabron, Brian Jones, Leonard Hoskins, Sam Cook, Mitchell McGhee, Thomas Perkins, David Neighbors, Kareem Davidovic, James Brown Trevor Perry, and Dimitrai Cabell are mandatory life imprisonment without parole. The possible sentences for LaTreance Taylor, LaFrederick Taylor, Jadrion Griffin, Kamal Sims, Derrick Stanfield, Jason Kirk, and Jason Horne are a mandatory minimum 20 years to life. The possible sentences for Lamont Robinson, Tanisha West, Maurice Nicholson, Keshaun Horne, Anotnio Miles Jerome Starks, and Charles Clements are a mandatory minium 10 years to life.
The public is reminded that the indictments are allegations only, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial or by guilty plea.