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Press Release

Leader of violent Indianapolis heroin trafficking organization sentenced in federal court

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

Westside organization responsible for distributing kilograms of heroin and methamphetamine to Indianapolis neighborhoods.


Indianapolis – United States Attorney Josh Minkler announced today the sentencing of the leader of a drug trafficking organization which distributed heroin and methamphetamine in the Indianapolis area. David McMichel, 33, Indianapolis was sentenced to 360 months (30 years) imprisonment by U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson.

“McMichel is the face of organized crime today. The defendants in this criminal organization were some of the most violent in Indianapolis,” said Minkler. “Not only did they sell large quantities of narcotics but most had prior felony convictions, possessed and used firearms and threatened acts of violence in furtherance of their crimes.”

Beginning in December 2014 through August 2015, David McMichel, a/k/a White Boy, a/k/a David Webster ran a drug trafficking organization from his home on the Westside of Indianapolis. The McMichel Drug Trafficking Organization (MDTO) moved large quantities of heroin and methamphetamine from suppliers in Arizona to Indianapolis, Fort Wayne and other locations. The MDTO obtained most of its drug supply from Fernando Vaca-Mata, 32, and Jose Prieto, 33, to be redistributed to lower level dealers.

As leader of the MDTO, McMichel negotiated with suppliers to obtain pound quantities of the narcotics. Further, he distributed and supervised the delivery of the narcotics and acquisition of weapons, collected proceeds from the narcotics sales and arranged to store the narcotics in stash houses around Indianapolis.

Throughout the months’-long investigation, McMichel ran the MDTO from his home while on house arrest serving a sentence for his third felony conviction. McMichel was overheard on a wiretap ordering shootings of his enemies. He stated he had a “list a block long” of individuals he wanted dead. Members of the MDTO obtained photographs from Facebook of some of his intended targets. During the investigation, law enforcement arrested one of McMichel’s “hitmen” in possession of a firearm and a photograph of an intended target.

During arrest and search warrant execution, law enforcement confiscated 19 firearms, $160,000 in cash and several pounds of heroin as well as large quantities of methamphetamine. Also recovered were two ballistic vests.

primary mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration is to identify, dismantle, and bring to justice drug-trafficking organizations who poison our streets with illegal drugs and contribute to the violence in our communities. Sentencing such as today should send a clear message and serve as a deterrent, the DEA and its law enforcement partners will continue to utilize all resources to bring you to justice. So, shame on you if you continue to violate the drug laws of the United States, you’re next,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Greg Westfall.

“Illegal drugs and the associated violence that often follows continues to plague many of our communities at unacceptable rates,” said Chief Roach. “Through a decentralized enforcement approach and information sharing with our Federal, State, and Local law enforcement partners we continue to disrupt criminal organizations that negatively impact the quality of life for so many in the Indianapolis community.”

This case was jointly investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Hamilton-Boone County Drug Task Force, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Metro Drug Task Force and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey D. Preston who is prosecuting this case for the government, McMichael must serve five years of supervised release following his prison sentence.

Updated September 8, 2017