INDIANAPOLIS, IN. – Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, and Jack Riley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, announced the sentencing of the last defendant in a federal cocaine trafficking conspiracy in United States District Court in Evansville. Lamar Duerson, 32, was sentenced on August 10, 2011 to 20 years imprisonment. Duerson was the last of 11 persons charged by federal indictment in 2010. This brings to a close the investigation and prosecution of a group responsible for the trafficking of large amounts of cocaine between Chicago and Evansville.
Sentences handed down by the United States District Court Chief Judge Richard L. Young have included:
Kelly Shidler, sentenced to 132 months imprisonment
Michael Davis, sentenced to 120 months imprisonment
Julius Wilbourn, sentenced 240 months imprisonment
Laron Seales, sentenced to 240 months imprisonment
Lamar Duerson, sentenced to 240 months imprisonment
Andre King, sentenced to 48 months imprisonment
Melvin Collier, sentenced to 48 months imprisonment
Amber Powell, sentenced to 30 months imprisonment
Three additional defendants were sentenced to probation for their roles in the conspiracy.
“The DEA casts a wide net of drug law enforcement expertise to successfully combat drug trafficking across the United States. This group of individuals responsible for obtaining cocaine in Illinois for distribution in Indiana has been thwarted,” stated Special Agent in Charge Jack Riley of the DEA. “Our law enforcement expertise and success is strengthened by working long-term investigations that cross state lines with partners such as the Evansville Vanderburgh County Drug Task Force.”
The federal indictment arose from a joint federal, state and local law enforcement investigation, led by the DEA and the Evansville Vanderburgh County Drug Task Force. During the course of the investigation, defendants Davis and Shidler were identified as obtaining large quantities of cocaine from sources in Chicago, Illinois, and distributing it in the Evansville and Henderson areas. The other defendants assisted Shidler and Davis in their drug trafficking activities, acting as mid- and lower-level distributors or serving as couriers and helpers within the organization. On February 1, 2010, police officers in Terre Haute, Indiana, intercepted a vehicle containing 1 kilogram of cocaine procured by Davis and Shidler in Chicago, which was en route to Evansville. A subsequent police search at a residence in Chicago resulted in the seizure of an additional approximately 24 kilograms of the drug. The prosecution and subsequent sentences of Shidler, Davis and their co-defendants in federal court brings to a close the group’s drug distribution operation.