EVANSVILLE, IN. -- Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney, announced today the culmination of a coordinated investigation into a large scale marijuana trafficking organization headed by lead defendant Freddie Joe Taylor of Vallonia, responsible for obtaining large quantities of the drug from sources in Texas, Arizona and Mexico, for subsequent distribution in Southern Indiana.
The indictment alleges that over 600 pounds of marijuana belonging to the organization was seized as it was smuggled across the United States/Mexico border in Laredo, Texas, on December 10, 2010. On another occasion, on March 9, 2011, approximately $387,000 United States currency, constituting the proceeds of marijuana sales by the group, was seized from defendant Zefferino Trejo’s residence in Seymour, Indiana.
The Indictment charges 11 individuals as
- FREDDIE JOE TAYLOR, 42, of Vallonia, Indiana,
- MARION “MAC” TAYLOR, 32, of Crothersville, Indiana,
- ZEFERINO TREJO, 35, of Seymour, Indiana,
- AARON RICHEY, 32, of Underwood, Indiana,
- MARCELLUS HINTON, 21, of Louisville, Kentucky,
- GASPAR SANCHEZ-HERNANDEZ, 34, of Columbus, Indiana,
- DUSTIN CAMPBELL, 33, of Scottsburg, Indiana,
- RAYMOND MCINTOSH, 41, of Seymour, Indiana,
- JESSE GLOVER, 33, of Scottsburg, Indiana,
- DARYL HICKMAN, 45, of Crothersville, Indiana,
- CECIL CAVANAUGH, 47, of Salem, Indiana
The Taylor brothers, Trejo, Richey, Hinton, Sanchez-Hernandez, Campbell, McIntosh, and Glover are charged with being part of a conspiracy to distribute in excess of 1,000 kilograms of marijuana over several years, from Mexico to Southern Indiana and Kentucky. If convicted, they face sentences of not less than 10 years and up to life imprisonment.
Various defendants are also charged with particular incidents of possession with the intent to distribute and distribution of marijuana in connection with the operation of the conspiracy. Various defendants are also charged with the use of telephones to facilitate the drug trafficking activities. Count 25 of the indictment also charges defendant Freddie Joe Taylor with money laundering in connection with his drug trafficking activities.
Many of the defendants also face federal firearms charges in connection with their drug trafficking activities. Freddie Joe Taylor and Cavanaugh are charged with the possession of firearms in connection with their drug trafficking activities. If convicted, they face statutory mandatory five year prison sentences, consecutive to any sentenced imposed for the drug offenses charged. Freddie Joe Taylor and Sanchez-Hernandez are also charged with being felons in possession of firearms; Taylor at his Vallonia, Indiana, residence on March 9, 2011, and Sanchez-Hernandez at his Columbus, Indiana, residence on March 10, 2011. Sanchez-Hernandez is also alleged to be an illegal alien in possession of a firearm. Count Twenty-Six of the indictment charges defendant Richey with being an unlawful user of controlled substances illegally in possession of firearms, arising from the discovery of a weapons cache during an April 12, 2011, search of Richey’s Underwood, Indiana, residence. Defendant Hickman is alleged to have illegally transferred a firearm to Freddie Joe Taylor. The charge against Hickman carries a statutory penalty of not more than ten years imprisonment, and a potential $250,000 fine.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Matthew P. Brookman, who is prosecuting the case for the government, initial hearings began at 1:00 p.m. on May 26, 2011, for some of the defendants before United States District Court Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann, Jr., in New Albany. The charges were the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, the Indiana State Police, the Washington County (Indiana) Drug Task Force, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Division, and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement officers from the region participated in the execution of arrest warrants related to the investigation on persons in Underwood, Scottsburg, Seymour and Salem, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky this morning.
The indictment is an allegation only, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial or by guilty plea.