Husband, wife with alleged ties to Mexican drug cartels busted in Columbus

Miguel Santana (left) and Lucilma Santana (right)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — A husband and wife with alleged ties to the Mexican drug cartels are in jail following a bust in Columbus.

Police claim the suspects, Lucilma and Miguel Santana, were “major players” connected to the dealing of meth in central Indiana.

Columbus police say they’ve been investigating the husband and wife for years.

In Dec. 2015, a box with four pounds of meth was recovered in a police raid at the Hilltop Mobile Home Park.  Two people were arrested.

A few weeks prior, 12 pounds of meth worth more than a half million dollars was seized following a drug bust on Gladstone.  Three more people were taken into custody.

All along, police believed Lucilma and Migeul Santana were involved in both drug operations, but the pair escaped arrest for nearly two years.

“Over the years we’ve arrested a dozen associates of the Santana’s and that snowballed into their arrest,” said Columbus police Lt. Matt Harris.

Late last week, Columbus police raided the couple’s home and arrested Lucilma.  Miguel had fled to Texas, where he was quickly caught.

“You know they were dealing in pounds of meth.  Over the two years in these cases our officers recovered 30 pounds and 300 thousand dollars in cash,” said Harris.

“I’m glad they got them off the streets, you know?” said Josh Ritter, who works nearby.

Those who live and work in the neighborhood long suspected the Santanas were involved in the drug trade, but rarely saw obvious signs of drug dealing at the home.

‘I’ve told them right to their face if I’d seen them dealing, I’d turn them in on the spot,” said neighbor Willard Leonard.

“Over the years, people thought the Santanas were untouchable, but obviously that’s not the case,” said Harris.

Lt. Harris says over the last few years a majority of the meth his department sees on the streets has been brought in from Mexico by people like the Santanas.

“By getting the Santanas and their associates locked up we hope to put a pinch on the drug trade in Columbus and south-central Indiana,” said Harris.

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