:: WKKG Local News ::
Update: An earlier version of this story had the number of people indicted and arrested incorrect.
Federal authorities have indicted 19 people, including residents of Columbus, Seymour and North Vernon on federal charges in a methamphetamine ring that stretched from Indiana to Mexico.
The case also ties into the April death of a woman in Jennings County, whose husband had been charged with murder in her overdose.
The U.S. attorney's office in Indianapolis reports that the ring centered on Country Squire Lakes in Jennings County. Sources of supply for the ring were traced back to the Mars Hill section of Indianapolis. During an investigation by the FBI, about 15 pounds of meth were seized, with a wholesale value of approximately $250,000. Also seized were 22 firearms, and $20,000 in cash.
On April 5th, Jessie Jackson died of a drug overdose from meth provided by the cartel. Her husband, 33-year-old Jeremy Ray Jackson, was charged with murder for giving her the drugs. Those charges have now been dropped, said Jennings County Prosecutor Alan Marshall.
Marshall said that under state law, the state could only get a maximum of 65 years if Jackson were convicted, which could be cut by good behavior and other sentence reductions. Under the federal drug charges, with a sentence enhancement because someone died due to the activity, Jackson can face life in prison.
"That's a much more powerful punch than what we can deliver on the state level, even on a murder charge," Marshall said.
Jackson and 13 others were indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of a mixture containing methamphetamine.
Defendants charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine face up to life in federal prison and fines up to $10 million if convicted, according to the U.S. attorney's office.
Four people, including 31-year-old Christy N. Walker of Columbus were indicted on a charge of unlawful use of a communications device. Others indicted on that charge include:
Marsha D. Fields, 56, of North Vernon was indicted on a charge of maintaining drug-involved premises.
The U.S. attorney's office says that seven people were already arrested earlier in connection with this case. Those include:
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 1:55:48 PM
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