Heavily armed Northside drug trafficking organization dismantled
Part of U.S. Attorney’s January 2018 Project Safe Neighborhoods Strategy.
Indianapolis-United States Attorney Josh Minkler announced today a drug trafficking organization operating on the Northside has been dismantled. Fourteen federal defendants face charges that include conspiracy to deal controlled substances (including methamphetamine), carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug-trafficking offense, and illegal possession of a firearm.
“In January, I rolled out this district’s PSN initiative, aimed at reducing gun violence through aggressive federal prosecution,” said Minkler. “Each IMPD district has an Assistant United States Attorney assigned to work closely with our law enforcement partners to prosecute the most violent offenders who terrorize our neighborhoods. I am hopeful this sends a very clear message, that if you choose to use guns to further your criminal activities, look over your shoulder because federal law enforcement is watching.”
Those arrested on Friday, February 23, 2018, include:
Devon Price, 31, Indianapolis, a/k/a Big Mike
William Bobo, 25, Indianapolis
Michael Graham, 23, Indianapolis, a/k/a Mike-Mike
Alan Wann, 20, Indianapolis, a/k/a Boogie
Dujaun Terry, 21, Indianapolis, a/k/a Juan-Juan, a/k/a Youngster
Ricky Wilburn, 24, Indianapolis
Henry Phillips, 25 Indianapolis
As a result of search warrants that were executed on Friday, February 23, 2018, agents and officers seized quantities of methamphetamine, marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids, and other drugs, as well as over $20,000 in currency, 29 cell phones, and 10 firearms. According to the most recent complaint affidavit, members of the drug trafficking organization are alleged to deal in large quantities of controlled substances, including those seized. Many of the individuals arrested over the course of the investigation, including on Friday, possessed firearms despite being prohibited from possessing them because of prior convictions.
This case has been investigated by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD); the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF); and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), with substantial assistance from the Indiana State Police.
Since May 2017, the ATF-Achilles Task Force and the IMPD North District Narcotics Unit, together with other law enforcement agencies, have been conducting an investigation into an armed drug-trafficking organization operating in Indianapolis. Several members of the organization have been identified as suspects in violent crimes in the North District. Many of them previously referred to themselves as Stupid Star Entertainment (SSE), which they claimed was a rap group in an area of Northeast Indianapolis they referred to as “Gangsterville.” Friday’s arrests represent the latest arrests in the ongoing investigation. Other federal arrests related to the investigation include:
Mose Bell, 42, Indianapolis
William Elliott, 24, Indianapolis
Corey Gibson, 39, Indianapolis
Tracy Hollowell, 23, Indianapolis
Derrick Motley, 27, Indianapolis
Jonathan Talley, 25, Indianapolis
Larry Wood, 43, Indianapolis
“The collective efforts of IMPD and our federal partners continue to send a formidable message that violence will not be accepted in our community,” said Chief Bryan Roach. “As we continue to combine law enforcement resources, both federal and local, around violent offenders and groups we are hopeful that those embroiled in violence get the message that we are resolute and intend to address violence to foster safer neighborhoods.”
“These arrests represent the culmination of countless hours of investigative work by IMPD’s North District Narcotics and FLEX Units and ATF/IMPD Achilles Task Force Officers and Agents,” stated Trevor Velinor, Special Agent in Charge for ATF’s Columbus Field Division. “The individuals arrested in the course of this investigation have flooded the streets of Indianapolis with drugs and guns, leaving innocent residents in fear. ATF and our partners are committed to returning our community to its rightful owners, those living, working, and raising families there.”
According to Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Lasher, who is prosecuting this case for the government, all defendants face up to a decade or more in prison if convicted.
A criminal complaint is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. All defendants are considered innocent until proven 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 demonstrates the office’s firm commitment to use partnerships with law enforcement agencies to prosecute individuals engaged criminal drug and firearms violations. See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan Section 2.2.