Federal officials based in Indianapolis on Thursday announced 17 arrests and 19 indictments in what they say is the takedown of a drug-trafficking group thought to be linked to homicides in Indianapolis.
The announcement came a day after a series of raids in which FBI agents and police seized 35 guns, $70,000 in cash, 1.75 kilograms of fentanyl, 14 pounds of methamphetamine, 6 ounces of cocaine and 30 pounds of marijuana, according to a news release from acting U.S. Attorney John Childress.
Seventeen of 19 people were in custody and charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl; two defendants remained at large.
Defendants from the Wabash Valley were Justin Helms, 41, of Spencer, and Kenneth K. Fielder, 26, of Bloomfield. Fielder is one of the defendants still at large.
Other defendants include Indianapolis residents Jason Betts, 26; Jennifer Black, 39; Montez Wells, 30; Richard Wells, 28; Aleshalia Boss, 40; Carl Wilson, 34; Donta Hampton, 34; Rick Coley, 34; Colin Johnson, 30; Brian McGee, 42; William Mosier, 41; Brittany Cocco, 31; Christina Pennington, 26; Mar-Kel Sampson, 29; Asa Vetters, 30; and Marco Uribe, 41.
Also a defendant is David Duggar, 38, Greenwood.
According to the indictment, Jason Betts directed the activities of a methamphetamine and fentanyl trafficking organization in Indianapolis. Montez Wells and Richard Wells also distributed significant quantities of fentanyl and methamphetamine as part of this organization.
The government says Betts, Montez Wells and Richard Wells coordinated their activities by receiving methamphetamine and fentanyl from their sources, sharing controlled substances with each other, and distributing the controlled substances to other dealers.
Authorities allege individuals in the conspiracy distributed and or assisted in the distribution of methamphetamine and fentanyl in the Indianapolis area as well as other locations in Indiana. The investigation revealed that Betts often received 100-pound shipments of methamphetamine from his source, the U.S. attorney's office said.
If convicted, the defendants charged with conspiracy face 10 years to life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering federal sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
The case was investigated by the FBI, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Indiana State Police and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
Assistant U.S. attorneys Bradley Blackington is prosecuting.