Over 1 Ton of Marijuana and $400,000 US Currency
Dec 19 -- (Indianapolis) – A superceding indictment has been issued out of the Southern District of Indiana charging eight men with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms and more of marijuana, and for possessing with intent to distribute 100 kilograms and more of marijuana. Charged in the indictment were CHRISTIAN ALMAGUER, 28, Mission, Texas; ROBERTO DURAN, 25, El Couch, Texas, JACINTO CHAPA, 30, Pharr, Texas, REUBEN WILSON, SR., 34, Indianapolis, Indiana, CHARLES SKELTON, JR., 42 , of Franklin, Indiana, MILTON BROSSET, JR., 40, of Whiteland, Indiana, DENNIS COMBS, JR., 39, of Vevay, Indiana, and JOHN DOE, a/k/a “Hugo S. Pena”, a/k/a Borrado”, a/k/a “Jessie”.
The indictment follows a nine month investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Cumberland Police Department and Indiana State Police. During the course of the investigation, over 2700 pounds of marijuana has been seized by law enforcement from the organization. The superseding indictment alleges that on April 24, 2007, approximately 613 kilograms of marijuana was driven to a warehouse in Greenwood, Indiana where it was received by DENNIS COMBS, JR. and MILTON BROSSET, JR. Shortly after the marijuana arrived at the warehouse, CHARLES SKELTON, JR. and JOHN DOE, also arrived at the location. The superseding indictment also alleges that on November 3, 2007, CHAPA was driving a truck hauling 154 kilograms of marijuana through Hidalgo County, Texas. The truck tractor was registered in the name of ROBERTO DURAN.
“The large amount of U.S. Currency and marijuana seized in this investigation has disrupted an illegal drug distribution organization,” stated Gary G. Olenkiewicz, the Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Chicago Field Division which covers the Indianapolis area. “It means over 1 ton of marijuana will not be hitting the streets in our communities, and $400,000 will not be going into the bank account of an illegal drug distribution organization.”
ALMAGUER, DURAN, CHAPA, AND WILSON were originally charged in a criminal
complaint on December 15, 2007 . The complaint was issued after DEA Task Force personnel
conducted surveillance on December 14, 2007 of a residence located on North Whitcomb Avenue . Law enforcement observed a white Ford van driven by WILSON depart from the residence. The van was stopped by IMPD for traffic violations and a search of the van resulted in the seizure of 912 pounds of marijuana. A federal search warrant was obtained for the residence on North Whitcomb Avenue which resulted in an additional seizure of approximately $400,000 in U.S. Currency and another 180 pounds of marijuana. In the residence at the time of the search warrant were ALMAGUER, DURAN and CHAPA.
The seized funds, if forfeited to the government, will be shared back to the participating task force agencies, IMPD, ISP and the Cumberland Police Department. Department of Justice regulations require that forfeited currency be used to purchase equipment such as bulletproof vests and radios, to fund future drug investigations and the funding of drug awareness and demand reduction programs.
Assistant U. S. Attorney Michelle P. Jennings, who is prosecuting the case for the government. All defendants face a maximum possible prison sentence of life imprisonment and a maximum possible fine of $4,000,000. ALMAGUER is scheduled for an initial hearing December 19, 2007 before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Indianapolis, Indiana, and DURAN CHAPA and WILSON will be arraigned on December 21, 2007.
The public is reminded that an indictment is an allegation only, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial or by guilty plea.