Accused drug kingpin Grundy takes stand in own defense
EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Accused Indianapolis drug kingpin Richard Grundy took the stand this morning in U.S. District Court in Evansville during his trial on federal conspiracy charges.
Grundy and four other men are accused of running a drug ring that brought methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin and marijuana from Phoenix, Arizona, to Indianapolis in the late summer and early fall of 2017.
Federal prosecutors estimate the value of the narcotics to total $3.5 million. If convicted, Grundy potentially faces a sentence of life in prison.
During two unsuccessful attempts to petition the court to permit him to act as his own attorney, Grundy argued that no one knows his case nor can represent himself as well as he can.
“I got a lot of familiarity with criminal cases,” Grundy told Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson during a hearing in Indianapolis last month. “I don’t want to be laying on my bunk wondering if I made the right decision.”
Grundy’s case was moved to Evansville after a confidential list of juror names was found in his Marion County Jail cell, resulting in a mistrial in early July.
Federal prosecutors have wrapped up their case after presenting evidence in the form of witnesses, wiretaps, text messages, surveillance video and travel records that allege Grundy spearheaded an organization that was taken down in an investigation dubbed “Operation Electric Avenue” by the FBI.
More than 20 co-conspirators accepted plea agreements for their roles in the case and some testified against Grundy.
“I’m being held responsible for things that didn’t have nothing to do with me,” Grundy previously told the court.
Grundy has beaten back two state investigations to charge him with several counts of murder and drug dealing that yielded a single felony conviction which resulted in no additional jail time and non-reporting probation.
It was during that probation that Grundy survived an assassination attempt with three bullet wounds while attending a relative’s funeral and relaunched his drug operation, according to federal prosecutors.
Judge Magnus-Stinson has told attorneys she expects the case to be concluded by the end of next week.