A federal grand jury has indicted 21 people for dogfighting and drug trafficking, Indiana authorities announced Thursday.
Charges include armed fentanyl trafficking, cocaine trafficking, methamphetamine trafficking, money laundering and involvement in an animal control business, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana said. , Zachary Myers, at a press conference.
The indictment stems from a 2022 investigation into two men who allegedly worked together to smuggle fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine from Mexico into the United States and distributed the drugs in Indianapolis and around central Indiana, according to Myers.
He said one of those men – identified as Gregory Henderson Jr. – remained a fugitive and, along with other defendants named in the indictment, was responsible for distributing drugs in and near the capital of Indiana.
Investigators learned the group belonged to a neighborhood gang called the 34th Street Gangster Disciples, which authorities believe was linked to drugs supplied by the Sinaloa Cartel in Mexico, the FBI special agent said Thursday. load, Herb Stapleton.
Investigators uncovered a “significant dogfighting business” run by those named in the indictment, and law enforcement seized approximately 90 dogs.
“The allegations are deeply disturbing regarding the many dogs that were brought into engaging in these violent and gruesome fights for the enjoyment and play of individuals who allegedly lacked the humanity to see what was wrong with them. what they were doing and choosing to engage in that behavior over and over again for a meaningful period of time,” Myers said.
Myers said the 90 dogs and puppies seized were in a secure location and were being behaviorally assessed.
“The ultimate goal is to ensure that all of these dogs are, if possible, adopted and placed in a safe home,” Myers said.
“We executed warrants on approximately 30 sites. Most of them were here in the state of Indiana; Some were in Ohio, others in Kentucky. There have been 21 subjects charged – 18 of them are in federal custody,” Stapleton said.
The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to Henderson. Investigators are also looking for information on a second fugitive, Maurice Ervin, named in the indictment.
Anyone charged with conspiracy to engage in an animal fighting business faces a five-year federal prison sentence, and each person charged with conspiracy to traffic in controlled substances faces a life sentence. , according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana.