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15 Year Sentence for Clay County Man Guilty of Drug Trafficking

INDIANAPOLIS, IN. –Jack Riley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana announced today that Timothy Cheatham, 47, of Clay County, Indiana has been sentenced by U.S. District Judge William T. Lawrence to 15 years in federal prison.  Cheatham was sentenced following his guilty plea to charges that he conspired with intent to distribute methamphetamine in and around the Brazil, Indiana area.

“This guilty verdict sends a message to those who would prey on our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Riley.  “For the safety of our citizens, we will continue to utilize all available resources to ensure that individuals peddling this poison are held responsible for their crimes.”

“This prosecution is just one example of how effective law enforcement efforts can be when we work as a team,” Hogsett said. “This particular defendant terrorized his community for years, and now he won’t walk the streets anywhere in the Wabash Valley again for a long, long time.”

Hogsett said the case against Cheatham was made more clear after undercover agents made purchases of methamphetamine from Ronald Ingalls, an individual selling methamphetamine for Cheatham. Soon after, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration and deputies from the Clay County Sheriff’s Department executed search warrants at both Cheatham’s residence and the residence of his father in Reelsville.

During the execution of those warrants, law enforcement seized methamphetamine, digital scales, packaging materials, as well as $76,167 in drug proceeds. Hogsett said that money seized during this investigation has been forfeited, and will now be processed before being returned to Clay County to be reinvested in local law enforcement efforts.

After the execution of the warrants, Cheatham admitted his participation in the distribution of large quantities of crystal methamphetamine in the Brazil area. Cheatham stated that he had distributed over four pounds of methamphetamine that he received from individuals in Indianapolis.

According to First Assistant U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler, who prosecuted the case for the government, Judge Lawrence also imposed 5 years supervised release following Cheatham’s release from prison and ordered him to pay a $1000 fine. Ronald Ingalls had previously been sentenced, and received a 10 year prison sentence for his participation in the drug trafficking conspiracy.

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.

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