Aryan Brotherhood Member Sentenced to Nearly 20 Years in Federal Prison for Armed Methamphetamine Trafficking and Illegally Possessing 40 Firearms
TERRE HAUTE – Steven Francis, 56, of Indianapolis, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, illegal possession of a firearm by a previously convicted felon and laundering of monetary instruments.
According to court documents, in or around July 2020, the Vigo County (Indiana) Drug Task Force began investigating Francis for methamphetamine distribution. On January 19, 2021, Francis attempted to mail a parcel containing approximately $20,000 in U.S. currency to California. The cash came from Francis’ methamphetamine sales.
On February 17, 2021, investigators executed a search warrant at two addresses associated with Francis. Prior to doing so, officers stopped Francis as they saw him approaching one of the two properties. Francis had approximately $26,900 cash in his pocket. The money was drug proceeds. During the subsequent search of the building, investigators found approximately 295 grams of methamphetamine, a digital scale, a loaded semi-automatic firearm, and a safe containing approximately $27,960.
Investigators also searched Francis’ residence. Under the bed in Francis’s room, officers found five handguns, two AR-style rifles, and a loaded 100-round drum magazine. Elsewhere in the residence, investigators recovered approximately $86,060 in U.S. currency.
Francis admitted to selling pound-quantities of methamphetamine and storing the drug at the two properties.
Francis was convicted in state court in 2003 for possession of cocaine and possession of methamphetamine in two separate cases. Francis is prohibited from possessing firearms by federal law due to these felony convictions.
Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, and Michael Gannon, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Indianapolis Field Office, made the announcement.
DEA investigated the case in conjunction with the Vigo County Drug Task Force. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. As part of the sentence, Judge Stinson ordered that Francis be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for four years following his release from federal prison. Judge Magnus-Stinson also ordered that the 8 seized firearms, ammunition, and $160,920 in seized cash all be forfeited as proceeds and instruments of the defendant’s crimes.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Lindsay E. Karwoski 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.