Nearly 22 Year Sentence for Crack Cocaine and Firearms Trafficking Conspiracy Member
DEC 14 – December 15, 2010 – (Indianapolis) Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney, announced the sentencing yesterday of Charles Avery, the last of 20 defendants to be sentenced in a federal crack cocaine and firearms trafficking conspiracy. Avery was sentenced by Chief Judge Richard Young to 21 years and 8 months imprisonment yesterday in United States District Court, Evansville. This brings to a close the investigation and prosecution of a group responsible for the trafficking of cocaine base (crack cocaine) and firearms between Chicago and Evansville. Several related indictments resulted in the charges. In addition to drug and gun trafficking, the activities of the conspiracy included various incidents of armed violence in Evansville in furtherance of the conspiracy’s objectives. Several of the defendants, including conspiracy leader Jesse Young, were members of the “Black P Stones” Chicago based criminal street gang.
Sentences handed down by the United States District Court Chief Judge Richard L. Young included:
Jesse Young, of Chicago, sentenced to 20 years imprisonment
Four additional defendants were sentenced to probation for their roles as straw purchasers of firearms trafficked between Evansville and Chicago by the conspiracy.
“Drug and firearm traffickers will utilize their connections, including street gangs, to further their illegal operations,” stated Jack Riley, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Chicago Field Division, which includes the state of Indiana. “We also will use our resources and connections, working with other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, to track down the sources of weapons and illegal drugs in order to keep them from reaching our community streets and bringing those responsible to justice.”
The federal indictment arose from a cooperative investigation by the Evansville Vanderburgh County Joint Drug Task Force, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives. In 2007, law enforcement began noticing an influx of Chicago based crack cocaine distributors to the Evansville area. Subsequent investigation uncovered a network of persons, headed locally by defendant Young, engaged in the trafficking and distribution of crack cocaine from Chicago to Evansville. The investigation of Young and his associates uncovered a crack cocaine distribution network operating between Southwestern Indiana and Chicago, responsible for distributing large quantities of crack cocaine in the city of Evansville. The investigation also uncovered the group’s ancillary gun trafficking operation, in which firearms were illegally purchased in Evansville for subsequent sale or trade in Chicago. Some of the firearms illegally trafficked by the group were later recovered in connection with criminal investigations in Chicago. Young and others used and relied upon their ties to the “Black P Stones” gang, which has a well known reputation for armed violence and drug distribution, to further their drug and firearms trafficking activities in Evansville and Chicago.