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Press Release

Hogsett Announces Federal Indictment Of Methamphetamine Scheme Involving “smurfing”

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

INDIANAPOLIS – Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today that Dawn Davis, age 44, of Mount Vernon, has been charged by federal indictment with multiple counts related to an alleged methamphetamine conspiracy across the tristate area. Hogsett said these charges come as the U.S. Attorney’s Office continues efforts to combat the manufacture and sale of methamphetamine in southwestern Indiana.

“Methamphetamine is a dangerous drug that destroys lives and has torn apart too many families across our state,” Hogsett said. “By targeting this deadly trade in all of its forms, from one pot labs to large-scale cartel activities, federal law enforcement is committed to ending this cycle of tragedy and violence.”

According to the indictment, Davis acted as an organizer and leader of a multi-state methamphetamine manufacturing and distribution conspiracy that operated in Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois. Davis allegedly enlisted individuals to obtain cold medication for her, a scheme referred to as “smurfing.” She would then allegedly use these materials to produce quantities of methamphetamine. The indictment charges that Davis would direct and assist these individuals in their “smurfing,” trading cash and/or manufactured methamphetamine for their cooperation.

The indictment describes the process by which the methamphetamine was produced, which involves pseudoephedrine, lithium extracted from batteries, ammonia, camping fuel, and drain cleaner. These highly volatile chemicals were then combined within a plastic soda bottle in what is often referred to as a “one pot” methamphetamine lab. This is an extremely dangerous production technique, creating substantial risks to the health and safety of people and property.

Court documents indicate that a search of the defendant’s residence allegedly revealed a number of items associated with the production of methamphetamine, along with two handguns, three shotguns, and various firearms ammunition.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew P. Brookman, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Davis was charged with one count of conspiring to produce and distribute methamphetamine, one count of distributing methamphetamine, and one count of maintaining what prosecutors describe as a “drug involved premises” at a residence on Graddy Road in Mount Vernon. If convicted, she faces up to life in federal prison.

This investigation was the result of a collaborative investigation involving the

Information, indictments, and criminal complaints are only a charge and are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated January 26, 2015