NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) – United States attorneys in Southern Indiana and Western Kentucky announced a large drug trafficking organization was dismantled recently which lead to 17 people being indicted.
The organization was selling methamphetamine across the Ohio River in Indiana and Kentucky.
Those charged in Indiana with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine include: 31-year-old Clifton Jones, 33-year-old Gregory Churchill, 41-year-old Stanley Duke, Jr.,44-year-old Billy Dale Sears, 44-year-old Harry Edelen, 47-year-old Roger Carroll, Jr., 40-year-old Chad Albertson. Duke faces an additional charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
The indictment says Sears was the leader and supervisor to the drug organization that worked to distribute mass quantities of meth. Sears would get the meth from Jones and Churchill who both lived in Louisville. From there the meth would be distributed to mid-level dealers in New Albany, Jeffersonville, Salem and Louisville for further distribution in Southwest Indiana and Northern Kentucky.
The meth was distributed on a “front” basis, meaning those charged in this case provided large quantities of meth on consignment to distributors and payment was received after the sale by other distributors. Telephones were used by the organization to talk in coded language and test messages to discuss matters relative to the operation.
In a separate indictment, a Louisville grand jury indicted 11 people, all of who are from Louisville, were charged with a single count with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute 50 grams or more of meth.
Jones also faces charges in Kentucky along with other co-defendants: Dontay Rice, 35-year-old Eric Estey, 35-year-old Dandre Taylor, 34-year-old Odell Smith, 32-year-old William Freeman, 33-year-old James Hall, 37-year-old Chad Heiser, Clarence Rice, Jr., 25-year-old Alex Bowles, 21-year-old Joseph Willis.
Everyone but Heiser was arrested on Thursday and are in federal custody. The defendants were to appear in court on Friday.
Heiser should be considredd armed and dangerouts. The FBI says Heiser's last known address is the 2300 block of W. Jefferson Street in Louisville. If you have any information on his whereabouts call 812-948-8002.
Thirteen and a half pounds of meth that was seized during the drug bust was manufactured in Mexico and brought to Louisville. It has a street value of $130,000.
Guns were also seized during the bust.
All of the accused face 10 years to life if convicted.