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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 6, 2016

Scott County man sentenced in federal court for drug conspiracy

Distributed heroin, methamphetamine and prescription painkillers

PRESS RELEASE

Indianapolis - United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler, announced today the sentencing of a Scottsburg man for his role in distributing large quantities of prescription drugs, heroin and methamphetamine to the Scott County area. Bennito L. Rodriguez, 39, was sentenced today to 20 years’ imprisonment by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker.

“Scott County was targeted by an organization with the goal of infesting that community with drugs, including the prescription painkiller Opana,” said Minkler.  “This became an epidemic and local law enforcement asked for our help.  Today, I am pleased to announce that the organization has been dismantled and justice has been served.”

In June 2015, agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Indianapolis began working with Scott County law enforcement officials to determine the source of the powerful prescription painkiller Opana (oxymorphone) and methamphetamine which were prevalent in Austin, Indiana, and other parts of Scott County.  Investigators quickly determined that Bennito L. Rodriguez and his wife Brooklynn G. Mack both of Scottsburg, orchestrated the supply of Opana and methamphetamine for redistribution into the Scott County community.

Through various investigative techniques law enforcement officials determined that Rodriguez and Mack would obtain their supply of methamphetamine and Opana from sources in Louisville, Kentucky, Indianapolis and Detroit, Michigan.  The two then organized a redistribution network using other members of the conspiracy to sell the drugs in Scott County. In total, Rodriguez was responsible for bring nearly 10,000 Opana pills as well as pound quantities of methamphetamine and heroin into the Scott County area.

Nine other defendants have agreed to plead guilty and are awaiting sentencing:

Brooklynn G. Mack, 30, Scottsburg, IN.

Rashawn A. Vaughn, a/k/a Ray, 42, Louisville, KY.

Eric L. Gude, 37, Indianapolis

Rashaan S. Perkins, a/k/a Phil, a/k/a D, 22, Detroit, MI.

Anthony L. Hardy, 40, Indianapolis

James D. Haney, 57, Austin, IN.

Justin M. Roberts, a/k/a Booger, 39, Austin, IN.

Travis D. Brock, 35, Scottsburg, IN.

Michael A. Doyle, 39, Scottsburg, IN.

“Heroin and opioid prescription drug abuse is priority number one for the DEA,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Greg Westfall with the DEA Indianapolis office. “Studies show that 80 percent of the new heroin users started with prescription painkillers.  This case shows that people who poison our communities with drugs will be identified and prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

"We are very pleased with the cooperation our local agencies have gotten from the DEA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this investigation.  They have resources that are not available in state prosecutions, which make these types of outcomes difficult for us to pursue locally,” said Scott County Prosecutor, Jason Mount.   “We are happy to see that this offender will not be able to bring any more harm to our community for quite some time, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the federal authorities."

According to Drug and Violent Crime Chief Bradley A. Blackington who prosecuted this case for the government, Rodriguez must serve 10 years of supervised release following his sentence and pay a $5,000 fine.

Updated October 6, 2016