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Press Release

Career Offender Who Led Police on Two High-Speed Chases Sentenced to 30 Years in Federal Prison for Operating a Drug Trafficking Conspiracy and Illegal Possession of Ammunition

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana

TERRE HAUTE – Elvis Medrano, 43, of Pharr, TX, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after being convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA, and being a felon in possession of ammunition following a 4-day jury trial in May of 2022.

According to court documents and evidence offered in court, from spring of 2020 through his arrest on August 3, 2020, Medrano conspired with his co-conspirators to sell methamphetamine, cocaine, and MDMA throughout Southern Indiana, more specifically in Sullivan and Knox Counties. Medrano obtained the illegal drugs from various sources in California, Missouri, and Illinois. The drugs were shipped to several different addresses through the U.S. Mail, by parcel delivery, or to two vacant P.O. Boxes, which Medrano had fraudulently obtained with the help of a corrupt U.S. Postal Service employee.

Postal Inspectors intercepted four of the drug parcels destined for Medrano’s group, however, these interventions did not stop Medrano. Medrano instead drove to pick up his drugs from sources in Illinois and Missouri. Medrano operated his drug trafficking organization from various local motels, often leaving behind evidence of his drug sales. Nearly everywhere law enforcement officers encountered Medrano, they found a specific brand of cutting agent used by Medrano to dilute his drugs and tools he used to dilute and re-package his methamphetamine.

Medrano possessed several firearms and was seen armed on numerous occasions as he operated his drug trafficking conspiracy according to several witnesses who testified at Medrano’s May trial. Medrano had a firearm when he led police on a high-speed chase through downtown Washington, Indiana, after fleeing from a Budget Inn on July 7, 2020. During the chase, Medrano sped past residences and businesses, and disregarded stop signs and traffic barriers. The pursuit had to be called off because of the extreme risk posed to the citizens of Washington.

Medrano’s motel room was later searched, and police found 23 rounds of 9mm ammunition, a holster, and a gun cleaning kit. Medrano had tossed a magazine from his vehicle during the high-speed chase, which was later found by a concerned citizen and examined by police. The magazine was loaded with two 9mm rounds of ammunition that matched the ammunition found in Medrano’s motel room.

Prior to the July 7 high-speed police chase, on June 1, 2020, police were attempting to locate Medrano who was wanted on an out-of-state warrant. Medrano fled from the Indiana State Police, leading them in another high-speed chase involving numerous officers and civilians through nearly the entirety of Sullivan County. Medrano cut through a field, disregarded traffic laws, and ran a local farmer off the road.   

Medrano was finally arrested on August 3, 2020. During his arrest, police officers surrounded a residence occupied by Medrano and others and asked them to exit the residence. Everyone except Medrano complied. Medrano continued to resist, and police had to deploy tear gas into the residence. 

Medrano has prior state court felony convictions in Texas and Iowa for charges including robbery and possession of methamphetamine and cocaine with intent to deliver. Medrano is prohibited from possessing ammunition and firearms by federal law due to these prior convictions.  

Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana; Michael Gannon, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Indianapolis Field Office; Rodney Hopkins, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Andre Martin, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Postal Service-Office of Inspector General; made the announcement.

DEA, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Postal Service-Office of Inspector General investigated the case. The Indiana State Police, Washington (Indiana) Police Department and Daviess County Sheriff’s Office provided valuable assistance. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge James Patrick Hanlon. As part of the sentence, Judge Hanlon ordered that Medrano be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 10 years following his release from federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys M. Kendra Klump, Patrick Gibson and Samantha Spiro who prosecuted this case.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

Updated December 1, 2022

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses