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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Hogsett Presents United States Attorney Award To Federal, Local Law Enforcement

NEW ALBANY – Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, was in Floyd County today to acknowledge the presentation of a U.S. Attorney Award to a number of local and federal law enforcement officers. Joined by Sheriff Darrell Mills, Hogsett applauded the significant impact that federal-local collaboration has had in Southern Indiana. Those receiving awards today included:

• Mark Slaughter, Task Force Officer with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department
• Todd Combs, Washington County Drug Task Force
• Dave Mitchell, Indiana State Police
• Brendan Cryan, Drug Enforcement Administration
• Charley Scarber, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
• John O’Boyle, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
• Jan DeLancey, Internal Revenue Service
• William Birkofer, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

These individuals are being recognized for their roles in the investigation and prosecution of the Hermion Torres and Freddie Joe Taylor drug and gun trafficking organizations, which were responsible for the import and distribution of large amounts of marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine throughout Southern Indiana and Kentucky. The investigation ultimately revealed a network of gun straw purchasers who obtained firearms for Torres in Indiana, which were later traded to the Mexico-based Gulf Cartel, an international criminal organization.

Hogsett said that these federal and state law enforcement partners used a variety of investigative techniques to bring those behind the criminal organizations to justice. As a result of these prosecutions, the flow of drugs and guns into Indiana was halted.

"The work of these officers and agents on this case is an example of law enforcement at its best," Hogsett said. "This was a complicated case with many moving parts, but the selfless dedication and tireless work of our partners in Southern Indiana helped ensure that these criminals won’t terrorize this area ever again."

The United States Attorney Award was established in 2003 to recognize outstanding law enforcement work in Hoosier communities as part of federal investigations and prosecutions. Just twenty total awards were awarded in 2013, and the Floyd County and Washington County Sheriff's Departments were two of only six local law enforcement agencies to be recognized.

Updated January 26, 2015