INDIANAPOLIS– Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) SWAT teams, backed by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) detectives and agents from multiple federal agencies, armed with more than a dozen arrest warrants, conducted several raids at dawn Monday across Indianapolis.
A source said the raids were a result of a wiretap investigation by the FBI Safe Streets Task Force which includes IMPD officers and likely targeted individuals and criminal enterprises dealing in drugs, cash and weapons.
One source told CBS4 two men were taken into custody at a house and car storage yard in the 5300 block of Massachusetts Avenue where investigators discovered guns and ammunition.
Another raid was conducted on a house in the 2300 block of North Arsenal Avenue and at a third location.
Neighbors, witnesses and residents at the raid locations did not want to comment on what they saw.
Neither has the U.S. Attorney.
While IMPD officers are prohibited by a recently enacted policy change from participating in so-called “no knock” search warrants, such practices are typical of federal investigations.
Pastor Denell Howard of the Hovey Street Church of Christ said he has ministered to the individuals who live at the Arsenal Avenue address where neighbors were awaked to the sound of the raid this morning.
“There are drugs in every community, but I’m not excusing it, but if you’re gonna do something, bring hope over here, bring resources over here, bring business over here, make sure there is empowerment over here,” he said. “What you’re looking at is a lack of progress. I mean look at the community that we’re walking through, the mayor himself walked through here several years ago. He’s been through here before. What has progressed? What has gotten better? What has changed?”
Mayor Hogsett led a community walk that began at Pastor Howard’s church last year.
The minister pointed out an abandoned house taken over by the city that has fallen into disrepair and is overgrown with weeds.
“Now what I would like to see is the attention you put on one house, that kind of attention you put on the whole community, rebuilding it, rehabbing it,” said Howard. “Don’t just project this neighborhood as crime ridden drug dealing negativity. This is a wonderful place to live in, this is a wonderful neighborhood to live, this is a wonderful place to grow and to do church.”
Pastor Howard said many members of the community are desperate to break away from the drugs and violence that has plagued their families and neighborhoods for generations.
“Those guys or girls, some of them are very intelligent, could be using those skills and intelligence to do other things, greater things, more things that are non-criminal, if you will, if they knew that that thing could be successful. Also, if they saw that progress, if they saw examples of people who are surviving and running their own businesses and thriving and living in their community.”
A source told CBS4 that Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents also took part in the raids.