Federal authorities have charged 40 people—including two inmates and a corrections officer—for running a drug ring through three Indiana prisons.
According to The Associated Press, the indictment unsealed Wednesday in Indianapolis notes the scheme involved methamphetamine, heroin and other drugs and also alleges prison guards smuggled cellphones and drugs into prisons.
The indictment says that inmates Oscar Perez and Justin Addler, who are in different prisons, made repeated calls to drug dealers in California to arrange for illegal deliveries of drugs to a network of distributors in Indiana, the Indianapolis Star reported. The deliveries were made in person or through the U.S. Postal Service or UPS, the newspaper notes.
Perez is serving time for murder and Addler is a convicted drug dealer, according to the AP.
Correctional officer John Dobbins is accused of delivering a package containing drugs and a cellphone to an inmate at a third prison in July, according to a federal indictment. While only one corrections officer is charged, the indictment says multiple guards were involved, the AP reported.
Spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Indianapolis Tim Horty declined to comment on the case.
In a prepared statement, Indiana Department of Correction Commissioner Bruce Lemmon said, "The actions of the small number of any IDOC correctional employees who may have facilitated these illegal activities brings dishonor to them and tarnishes the good name and professionalism of the vast majority of IDOC employees who are dedicated to making our prisons safe and upholding the rule of law."
The FBI is still looking for two people involved in the drug ring, said Wendy Osborne, spokeswoman for the bureau in Indianapolis.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Kennard Foster set trials for those involved in the case for Oct. 1. Some of the charges carry a life in prison sentence.
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