Federal authorities target drug offenders in raids across Indy; variety of drugs seized

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. --- Multiple federal agencies took part in a series of drug raids Friday on Indy’s near west side. Federal authorities served 15 search warrants for 20 indictments at multiple locations across Indianapolis.

The indictments are sealed, but we know all charges are related to drugs and include heroin, meth, and cocaine charges.

The search warrants began at 6:05 a.m. The investigation is being led by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and also involves the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Following the raids, several of the suspects were taken to IMPD southwest district headquarters.

A spokesperson with the DEA confirmed they were the lead agency, but added that the government shutdown will prevent them from going into more detail.

At one recently renovated teal home on Tremont and a refurbished fuchsia home next door, neighbors awoke to the sights and sounds of a federal drug raid.

“Early this morning we heard a big boom,” said Angie Smith.

“There was literally cops everywhere surrounding both of those houses,” said neighbor Jose Bautista.

Just a few blocks away, a similar remodeled purple home on Arnolda was raided. Those homes along with others on Eagledale and Moreland were searched by the DEA, ATF and FBI.

Sources confirm 15 search warrants were served, during which investigators say close to 9 pounds of meth was seized, along with 40 pounds of marijuana, a quarter kilo of heroin and a small amount of cocaine. Additionally, 18 firearms were confiscated.

“I mean something needs to take place, because there’s too much (criminal) activity going on,” said Smith.

It's not clear how many people were arrested, but at one point a half dozen suspects were loaded into a sheriff’s department van and transported to jail.

Drug raids on Indy's southwest district, of course, are nothing new.

In 2016, the IMPD set up flex teams and cracked down on suspected drug houses. That crime-fighting strategy was aimed at cutting down on shootings and other violent crimes.

A spokesperson for the DEA says because of federal furloughs they are prohibited from making public statements on the Friday morning raids, but neighbors say federal assistance busting drug traffickers is always welcome.

“Well that means there’s less drugs on the streets and less crime. Hopefully they can get it cleaned up,” said Smith.

“I just think they’re doing a really good job trying to keep the streets clean,” said Bautista. “It makes the community a lot safer.”

A spokesperson for U.S. attorney Josh Minkler said they would not make any comments on the raids, but they do expect the suspects to be in federal court early next week.

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