TERRE HAUTE —
Nineteen people have been indicted in what federal prosecutors say was a drug ring that was run from a state prison by an inmate using a cell phone.
The federal indictment unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Terre Haute names Wesley S. Hammond, 39, as the ringleader.
Hammond, formerly of Terre Haute, is in the New Castle state prison serving a 15-year sentence for drug dealing in Vigo County.
Federal agents reported seizing more than a pound of methamphetamine, more than 200 pounds of marijuana and nearly $81,000 in cash during raids in the Terre Haute area.
U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison said in a news release all of the suspects are in custody and are expected to seek lawyers before court hearings scheduled for Monday.
Law enforcement officers from the region participated in the execution of arrest and search warrants related to the investigation on people and residences in the Terre Haute area. The arrests resulted from a five-month investigation directed by the Evansville office of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Vigo County Drug Task Force, Vigo County Prosecutor’s Office, the Indiana State Police, and the Vincennes Police Department. Other law enforcement agencies that participated in the investigation included the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, & Firearms, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Clay County Sheriff’s Department, and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
The federal grand jury indictment of alleged methamphetamine traffickers involved the following 19 people:
• Wesley S. Hammond, 39, New Castle (Indiana) Correctional Institution
• Jennifer L. Poltrock, 28, Terre Haute
• Dustin M. McCombs, 22, Terre Haute
• David J. Pitts, 39, Terre Haute
• Bradley S. Shelton, 34, Terre Haute
• Antrio D. Hammond, 31, Indianapolis
• Jwuan Moreland, 35, Terre Haute
• Rae Anna Johnson, 65, Terre Haute
• Keith C. Pitts, 19, Terre Haute
• John Mikolajczyk, 41, Terre Haute
• Jeffrey L. Denny, 34, Terre Haute
• Megan E. Samuels, 21, Terre Haute
• Michael E. Adkins, 26, Terre Haute
• Herbert D. Phipps, 53, Terre Haute
• Ahmad Hadi, 50, Terre Haute
• Dennis D. Plummer, 36, Terre Haute
• Melissa Van Ness, 36, Terre Haute
• Timothy Bailey, 48, Terre Haute
• Susie Annette Smith, Terre Haute
All 19 defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. In addition, Shelton is charged with a separate count of distribution of methamphetamine. The indictment charges that Wesley Hammond, an inmate at the New Castle (Indiana) Correctional Institution, maintained a cellular telephone while in prison and used the cellular telephone to coordinate the activities of a methamphetamine trafficking organization operating in Terre Haute. Hammond’s girlfriend, Jennifer Poltrock, allegedly served as Hammond’s lieutenant in Terre Haute and distributed methamphetamine and marijuana to drug dealers who worked for Hammond. Hammond’s primary methamphetamine dealers allegedly included Dustin McCombs, David J. Pitts, Bradley S. Shelton, Antrio D. Hammond (Wesley Hammond’s brother), and Jwuan Moreland.
The investigation led to the following drug and money seizures in the Terre Haute area:
• Two ounces of methamphetamine allegedly purchased from Bradley S. Shelton on December 30, 2009.
• One ounce of methamphetamine allegedly seized from Ahmad Hadi on March 22, 2010;
• One ounce of methamphetamine allegedly seized from John Mikolajczyk on March 23, 2010;
• Five ounces of methamphetamine allegedly seized from Bradley S. Shelton, March 26, 2010;
• Ten pounds of marijuana allegedly seized from Timothy Bailey on March 26, 2010;
• 210 pounds of marijuana and eleven ounces of methamphetamine allegedly seized from the residence of Jennifer L. Poltrock, on South 14th Street, Terre Haute on March 26, 2010, pursuant to a search warrant)
• $80,880 allegedly seized from the residence of Susie Annette Smith, North 16th Street, Terre Haute, on March 26, 2010 pursuant to a search warrant
According to Assistant U. S. Attorney Bradley A. Blackington, who is prosecuting the case for the government, most of the defendants, if convicted, face maximum possible prison sentences of life imprisonment.
Initial hearings will begin at 9 a.m. Monday for some of the defendants before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Terre Haute.
Source: U.S. Attorney, Southern District of Indiana; and The Associated Press.