INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Eleven people accused of operating a cocaine trafficking ring in Indianapolis now face federal charges.
U.S Attorney Joseph Hogsett announced Wednesday that a federal grand jury indicted the 11 people after an investigation that started back in 2010. Investigators say the ring was stashing drugs, firearms and money throughout the Butler -Tarkington neighborhood.
“Some were significantly armed with sophisticated and high-powered weapons — armed drug dealers. Others were part of the conspiracy to distribute cocaine throughout the Indianapolis community,” Hogsett said.
IMPD, Indiana State Police the Drug Enforcement Agency and other organizations worked with the community to bring down the operation.
“Enforcement activity like this starts with community involvement. People providing tips, getting law enforcement involved to know where the problems are,” said Indiana State Police Capt. David Bursten.
The Butler-Tarkington neighborhood association meets with IMPD every month. The group talks about happenings in the past month, things that IMPD wants the neighborhood to be aware of, and issues the community might want to talk about with police officers.
“We’re happy that the criminals were off the street, happy that that activity was stopped temporarily but there’s also a level of concern and want to make sure that that sort of activity doesn’t pop up again in the neighborhood,” said Ted Feeney, neighborhood association president.
Feeney encourages residents in the area to contact police if they notice anything suspicious going on. Authorities say tips from the community helped lead to the Butler-Tarkington neighborhood cocaine bust.
“From the law enforcement side and the community side, I appreciate the hard line that the U.S. Attorneys Office takes on this, to get the people off the street for a long, long time,” said Bursten.
The federal charges mean mandatory minimum sentences and higher maximum sentences than they originally faced when they were charged in state court. Three of the defendants will face mandatory life sentences if they are convicted. If convicted, some of the defendants face a minimum penalty of 10 years to life in prison. Others face 20 years to life and three of the defendants will face mandatory life sentences if they are convicted.
All 11 people are now in custody. Some of the defendants appeared in court for initial appearances on Wednesday.
The 11 people facing federal charges are:
- Benigno Reyes-Contrerra (27)
- Gerardo Baltierra (29)
- Wade Havvard (36)
- Larry Eugene Coe (39)
- Timika Highbaugh (39)
- Earnest McCain (55)
- Edgar Dominguez-Castillo (25)
- Fellipe Maguellal (22)
- Antjuan Dyson (36)
- Tuwanna Harney (37)
- Waimond Jackson (53)