Drug dealers busted

U.S. Attorney Susan Brooks said she was surprised by the number of people involved.

Jennie Runevitch/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - Federal Agents carried out raids and made arrests early Thursday morning uncovering what they call a serious cocaine problem here in Central Indiana.

A spike in gun violence night after night in Indianapolis last year prompted federal, state and local investigators to hit the streets to cut off the crime's source: they searched for drug dealers.

Susan Brooks, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana boiled it down to these words. "We have a serious cocaine problem in central Indiana," she said.

Now, nine months later, they say they've cracked open a huge cocaine distribution ring. They are calling it one of the largest busts, ever, in central Indiana.

Brooks added, "We were surprised at the number of people involved."

She added that she was also surprised by where the suspects are from. Those named in the 36 indictments live in Indianapolis, most north of I-70, Fishers, Geist and Greenwood. U.S. Attorney Brooks continued, "When we got into this investigation, it led to another group, which led to another group, which led to another organization and another organization."

Dozens of high-level dealers, Brooks says, are now charged with cocaine trafficking. The charges came in federal indictments handed down Tuesday.

After serving search warrants at storage units and homes police made 18 arrests and hope the other fugitives surrender.

Eyewitness News traveled to Greenwood where a neighbor of one accused dealer says something just didn't seem right. "(He has) the nice stuff, you know, the bling...too much."

Here's how federal investigators say the mega-deals went down: the supply came from California. At that time the cocaine in large kilogram quantities, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, got shipped here to Indianapolis. That's where the drugs stayed, distributed on our city streets.

For now, the supply is cut off.

U.S. Attorney Brooks is optimistic. "So we're hoping," she said, "that maybe the gun violence will go down as well."

In connection with this drug bust, investigators did seize nearly two-dozen guns and a large amount of cash. Some of the accused dealers face life in prison.

Police plan to keep the pressure on area drug dealers. A focused effort, they say, all summer long.