Eight charged in Indianapolis drug bust

US Attorney Joe Hogsett makes the announcement
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Indianapolis - Eight people face charges in connection with an Indianapolis drug trafficking ring, and officials say 27 firearms have been taken off the streets.

US attorney Joseph Hogsett and Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced the charges Thursday.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and members of the Metro Drug Task Force seized 27 firearms, about three pounds of methamphetamine and $33,950 in cash. Police found 9mm assault pistols, SKS type assault rifles, and a 9mm MAC 10 along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

"I think what today foretells is another significant step towards making Indianapolis a safer place today than it was yesterday," said Hogsett.

"We will not tolerate illegal use of firearms to support and maintain criminal activity in any county and what you see today is a partnership that is going to war for the next four years to pursue people who use violence to move crime forward. We are not going to tolerate it," said Public Safety Director Frank Straub.

Ricardo Diaz, 32, Mexico; Irma Lorena Escalera-Avalos, 34, Mexico; Miguel Martinez, 20, Mexico; Leodegario Martinez-Rios, 38, Mexico; Daniel Sandoval, 41, Mexico and  Alondra Villa, 27, Indianapolis, were charged in the federal complaint, and two others were arrested on state charges.

Four children, including an infant, also were taken into custody by Child Protective Services.

The charges follow a two-month investigation.

The six arrested on federal charges face conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Police say they found the weapons and drugs at a storage unit in Fishers and at a residence in Fishers. Many of the seized weapons were loaded. Police also found ammunition, magazines, large amounts of packaging materials, heat sealers, digital scales and methamphetamine as well as cash.

Eleazar Archuleta, 42 and Elena Garcia, 27 were arrested and charged with possession of cocaine, possession of cocaine with a firearm, possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.

The defendants, if convicted, could face ten-year minimum mandatory prison sentences in the federal case. The two people facing state charges could face two to eight years.

Several agencies were involved in the investigation, including:

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
Marion County Prosecutor's Office
Carmel Police Department
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office
Hancock County Sheriff's Office
City of Lawrence Police Department

Note: A criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.