Leader of drug trafficking organization sentenced
Defendant was sentenced to 210 months’ imprisonment
INDIANAPOLIS – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced the sentencing of the leader of a drug trafficking organization which distributed large amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine in the Indianapolis area. Brayan Quinonez, 25, was sentenced to 210 months’ imprisonment by U.S. District Judge James R. Sweeney II.
“The stalwart efforts our Assistant U.S. Attorneys and federal agents demonstrate and the impact of their multijurisdictional and international investigations utilizing the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) model cannot be understated,” said Minkler. “The remarkable illicit drug and firearm seizures in this case unequivocally make our district a safer place. I commend these efforts and express personal pride and gratitude for the regular sacrifices law enforcement and partner agencies make in the interests of justice.”
Beginning in early 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service investigated the drug trafficking activities of Brayan Quinonez and others; this investigation demonstrated that Quinonez and others were conspiring to distribute controlled substances, including cocaine and methamphetamine. Quinonez distributed multiple kilograms of these substances at a time to customers located in the Indianapolis area; Quinonez received these drugs from sources of supply located in Mexico. Quinonez and others then conspired to launder the proceeds of this vast drug trafficking activity in various ways, including through a series of wire transfers to various nominees in Mexico, who received the drug proceeds on behalf of the source of supply.
This investigation culminated with the execution of numerous federal search warrants at locations in Indianapolis, including Quinonez’s residence and a second location he utilized to further his drug trafficking. In the execution of the search warrants, agents seized over 70 pounds of methamphetamine, six pounds of cocaine, $50,000 in cash, and 17 firearms (four of which were seized from Quinonez’s residence, as pictured below).
This case was jointly investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Indiana State Police, and the Brownsburg Police Department.
“Residents living in fear because of narcotics trafficking in their neighborhoods by violent individuals such as Mr. Quinonez will never be tolerated,” said Grant Mendenhall, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division. “This illustrates how the combined resources of the FBI and our law enforcement partners can target criminal enterprises and disrupt the flow of illegal drugs into our communities."
“IRS CI special agents exposed Quinonez’s money laundering activities by expertly tracing drug proceeds through international financial systems,” said Brenda Viteri, Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation. “First, today’s sentencing reinforces the continued success of OCDETF partnerships that IRS CI is proud to support. Second, a word of warning – if you launder illegal money, we will find you; it’s only a matter of time.”
According to Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Brady, who is prosecuting this case for the government, Quinonez must serve five years of supervised release following his prison sentence.
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 prosecuting those who engage in organized drug and violent crime. See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan 2.1