FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – It’s being called the “most significant marijuana seizure in northeast Indiana in several years,” by the DEA.
An Indianapolis man has been arrested in Fort Wayne after the DEA says he orchestrated a pot delivery to a warehouse, hiding the drugs in appliances, that served as a front for a phony business.
The DEA said Martin Gonzalez-Medina, 50, was arrested on Monday after about a four-year investigation involving a confidential source who had previously bought pot from Medina.
Medina told the source to create a fake business. He said he planned to ship pot, packed inside appliances, to a warehouse off of Industrial Road in Fort Wayne. The DEA said the pot was grown in Mexico and then transported through Texas to Fort Wayne.
Officials used cell phone records to link Medina to the shipments.
The Fort Wayne Police Department Emergency Services Team entered the warehouse on Monday as 12 freezers packed with around 2,160 pounds of pot were being delivered. Police said the street value of the pot is estimated at $1.7 million.
“This is the most significant marijuana seizure in Northeast, Indiana in several years. This seizure shows that large scale criminal drug trafficking organizations continue to try to use Fort Wayne both as a local distribution center and a transshipment point for distribution to other states,” Jack Riley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, which covers Fort Wayne, said.
DEA agents said they busted a second warehouse in Weslaco, Texas.
Martin Gonzalez-Medina was charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court with possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
According to court documents, if convicted, Gonzalez-Medina could face a minimum of five to 40 years in prison, along with a fine of up to $5 million.
The investigation was conducted by a DEA Task Force made up of federal agents from the DEA and IRS, as well as agents from the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department, the Noble County Sheriff’s Department, and the Fort Wayne Police Department.
The release from the DEA did not provide details about why the confidential informant was working with the DEA.