You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Indiana

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Arizona man sentenced to life without parole following drug conspiracy trial

Over 50 pounds of methamphetamine couriered to Evansville from Arizona

EVANSVILLE - United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today that Matthew Elder, 44, of Litchfield Park, Arizona, was sentenced to life without parole in federal prison by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Richard L. Young following a three-day jury trial in Evansville.  The case resulted from a 2013-2014 investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Evansville Vanderburgh County Joint Task Force, Posey County Sheriff's Department, Texas Drug Enforcement Administration, and Texas Department of Public Safety into the distribution of methamphetamine from Arizona into southwestern Indiana.

“Mr. Elder made a living peddling drugs to individuals in the Evansville area, “said Minkler. “He will spend the rest of his life in a federal prison and my hope is, others like him get the message that we will not tolerate this type of criminal behavior in Indiana.”

On April 1, 2015, a federal jury found Matthew Elder guilty of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine along with co-defendant, William Elder. During court testimony, it was learned that Matthew Elder was the source of methamphetamine in Arizona, which brought over 50 pounds of meth to the Evansville-area in a six month period. Elder arranged for the methamphetamine to be couriered to Evansville by various individuals for redistribution near Evansville. Matthew Elder faced mandatory life without parole based on having two prior drug convictions in Arizona and one in Evansville.

Matthew Elder’s co-defendant, William Elder (his father), was also convicted in April and  faces sentencing later this month.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren Wheatley, who prosecuted the case for the government, Judge Young imposed 10 years of supervised release on Elder if he is ever released from prison. During that time, Elder must submit to regular drug testing and treatment.

Updated July 2, 2015