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Feds launch raids in Indiana and Georgia tied to large drug trafficking ring; 15 people facing federal charges

May 15, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Feds launch raids in Indiana and Georgia tied to large drug trafficking ring; 15 people facing federal charges

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Federal law enforcement officials say “Operation Law and Order” led to charges filed last week against 15 defendants with a total of 21 suspects linked to a massive drug trafficking ring operating in the states of Indiana and Georgia.

Prosecutors indicated that the suspects led a drug trafficking network that transported massive amounts of illegal narcotics into the Kokomo, Indiana, which were ultimately distributed to other areas around the state, according to WISHTV.

On Tuesday, approximately 130 agents, troopers, deputies, and officers from various law enforcement agencies executed warrants at 13 locations in Kokomo and Macon, Georgia.

Federal agents seized over 17 pounds of meth, two pounds of cocaine, two ounces of heroin, 122 grams of fentanyl, and six ounces of pot.

Additionally, authorities confiscated 12 vehicles, $37,000 in cash, 24 firearms, and two money counters. U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler indicated that not a single shot was fired during the bust.

“Cases, like we did in this community, will make this community safer. It is safer today than it was yesterday,” Minkler stated.

Recently unsealed court documents allege that Reggie Balentine was the leader of the group, with the drugs produced in Mexico and provided by Pierre Riley from Macon Georgia.

Kristin Kinney is accused of storing and counting the drug proceeds.

Prosecutors claimed Jamal Williamson and Sira Qadir were employed as hitmen and paid $7,500 to kill someone they thought robbed money from the group, although that murder never occurred.

One suspect Michael Reynolds is now dead. Melissa Baird is the only fugitive not yet apprehended. The remainder of the group faces a variety of charges for assisting with the drug distribution.

“These are defendants they are making blood money off of drug addicts,” Minkler stated.

“They are armed to the teeth to protect their drugs and their money,” he said during a press conference Wednesday.

He referred to their profits as “blood money” and indicated that the alleged drug dealers charged in the case took advantage of addicts and contributed to the state’s burgeoning drug problem. He called the group a “massive” drug operation and said the probe lasted roughly four months.

“We used massive federal resources. No expense was spared to target these individuals, and the response was consequential,” Minkler continued.

“For the people who think just because we didn’t knock on your door, we are coming to get you,” Kokomo police chief Robert Baker said.

“Indiana will be the most inhospitable place in this country to deal drugs, and that will turn this crisis around,” Minkler concluded.

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