Federal investigation dismantles drug trafficking organization
“The deliberate actions of our local and federal law enforcement partners have immediately made Indianapolis a safer place to live, work and raise a family."
Indianapolis – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today, eight individuals were indicted on federal drug charges, including Possession with Intent to Distribute Controlled Substances. The Indictments were unsealed in federal court today.
"During these challenging times, the last things we need in our neighborhoods are more crime guns, more fentanyl, more methamphetamine, more cocaine, more heroin, and more drug money," said Minkler. "I commend the hard work of the FBI, the IRS and the IMPD who combined their limited law enforcement resources in order to remove a criminal organization that sought to financially profit by infesting our city’s streets with more guns, more drugs and more blood money. The deliberate actions of our local and federal law enforcement partners have immediately made Indianapolis a safer place to live, work and raise a family."
Those charged include:
Christopher Shelton a/k/a Horse, Indianapolis, 41
Scot Nelson, Indianapolis, 37
Joshua Douglas, Muncie, 38
Marguerite Collins, Indianapolis, 45
Jarrad Cooney, Indianapolis, 32
Jason Corey, Indianapolis, 47
Antonio Turner a/k/a Trapper a/k/a Tone, Indianapolis, 32
Stephen Cole, Indianapolis, 43
According to the indictments, the above individuals were engaging in trafficking methamphetamine and other illegal drugs in Indianapolis. On Monday morning, sixteen search warrants and federal arrest warrants were executed by federal agents and officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department in the Indianapolis area. As a result of those search warrants, 31 illegally possessed firearms, 4 ½ pounds of methamphetamine; ½ kilogram of cocaine; 1 kilogram of fentanyl, and approximately $272,000 in U.S. currency that represented the proceeds of drug trafficking were seized and taken off city streets.
Beginning in the fall of 2019, federal agents began investigating a number of individuals for their suspected drug trafficking activities.
As the investigation progressed, it led investigators to the Muncie, Indiana area where meetings would take place and methamphetamine would be transported back to Vans Auto Repair in Indianapolis to be distributed.
On one of the occasions traveling back to Indianapolis, the Fishers Police Department initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle which Joshua Douglas was a passenger and Douglas’s girlfriend was the driver. As the vehicle was coming to a stop, Douglas threw out a bag containing methamphetamine and heroin.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, IRS Criminal Investigation, DEA Indianapolis District Office, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
“Federal task forces are taking note of the increasing incidents of violence in Indianapolis”, said Kathy Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS Criminal Investigation Chicago Field Office. “These search and arrest warrants have taken guns, drugs, and violent offenders off the streets of Indianapolis. IRS Criminal Investigation understands the importance of committing our resources to these task forces and will continue to provide assistance to make our communities safer.”
“These indictments demonstrate our commitment to eradicating violent criminal enterprises. Even during the COVID shutdown, the FBI and our law enforcement partners were still engaged in investigations to reduce violent crime,” said Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan, FBI Indianapolis. “What you saw Monday was the result of the dedicated work of multiple agencies with one shared goal - to make the community safer for residents who shouldn’t have to live in fear.”
IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said, “Through strategic partnership with our federal law enforcement partners, IMPD remains committed to addressing the violence in our community too often associated with the trade of illicit drugs.”
According to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle P. Brady, who will prosecute this case for the government, the defendants face up to life imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, and five years of supervised release.
An indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proved otherwise in federal court.
In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution sentencing demonstrates the office’s firm commitment to prosecute organizations and individuals distributing methamphetamine, heroin, opioids, and synthetic opioids. (See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan Sections 3.3)