A complex police operation that took three months to fully unfold resulted in arrest warrants for members of the methamphetamine dealing group operating in and near Indianapolis.
Crystal meth is a huge problem all across the United States and the authorities are showing a willingness to find and prosecute those responsible for its distribution. In Johnson County, Indiana, multiple agencies collaborated on a three-month investigation that included undercover purchases and infiltration tactics, eventually leading to judicial warrants against 35 people suspected of dealing methamphetamine. An unspecified amount of the drug was seized during the operation, and the prosecutors believe that it was more likely imported from Mexico than manufactured locally.
In order to get to large-scale dealers, police officers often ignored offenses by less prominent members of the group, some of which were selling drugs quite openly in public spaces. Despite the well-organized scheme for distributing the drugs, no production facilities have been found and the meth seems to be coming from abroad. The authorities are pointing out that it’s recently been much more difficult to obtain ephedrine – a necessary precursor for methamphetamine synthesis – so it became more expensive to cook meth in the U.S. than to buy it from Mexican cartels. However, that didn’t impact the street market significantly, as crystal meth is easily available in the Indianapolis area and other cities in the American Midwest.
Out of 35 identified suspects in the operation, 22 were immediately arrested while the rest of them were actively sought by the police. Most of them are residents of towns in Johnson County or its vicinity (12 from Edinburgh, 7 from Greenwood, 4 from Franklin and Columbus each), hinting at a regional group serving a suburban area on the fringes of Indianapolis. Some parts of this zone have already been given a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area designation, so it’s not exactly a surprise to have a well-organized meth ring operating there. The authorities are stressing out their intention to provide treatment and assistance to meth addicts while showing no mercy to criminals involved in high-level trafficking.
Methamphetamine is a highly addictive stimulant that’s very simple to produce, and it’s very tricky to eradicate once it becomes popular. Since it’s cheaper and more potent than cocaine, its customer base is much broader while the profits are large enough to motivate Mexican manufacturers to transport it thousands of miles to landlocked U.S. states such as Indiana.
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