Enforcer of Gary, Indiana-Based Drug Trafficking Organization Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 14, 2010|
INDIANAPOLIS—Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today that Michael Jackson, 30, Indianapolis, was sentenced to 30 years (360 months) in prison by U.S. District Judge Larry J. McKinney following his conviction at trial August 3, 2010, for conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute crack cocaine and cocaine. This case, dubbed “Operation Midwest Connect,” was the result of a year-long joint federal-state Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force, the Indiana State Police, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
The evidence at trial established that Jackson and other members of a Gary, Indiana-based drug trafficking organization with ties to the Vice Lords street gang moved to Indianapolis, where they established a drug trafficking enterprise. The FBI-led investigation in this case revealed that the members of the organization often used cellular telephones to facilitate and further their drug trafficking enterprise. During the period of time from February of 2005 through June of 2005, four different court-authorized wiretaps were utilized to conduct wire surveillance on cellular telephones linked to members of the organization.
Information from the wiretaps and the conducting of covert undercover operations led to law enforcement seizing over 46 kilograms of cocaine and 685 grams of crack cocaine, with a street value of well over $1,000,000, during the course of the investigation.
The evidence at trial also established Jackson served as the enforcer for the drug trafficking organization and that he possessed an AK-47 assault rifle, a 12 gauge shotgun, and two handguns during the course of the conspiracy. Intercepted court authorized wiretap telephone calls were played for the jury during the trial in which Jackson was heard telling other members of the conspiracy that he would shoot rival drug dealers and their children.
U.S. Attorney Hogsett stated, “The FBI and the Safe Streets Gang Task Force acted proactively in this case. They identified a problem,” Hogsett noted, “and then developed a plan to try to stop it. They focused significant resources on the problem and worked as a coordinated team.” The investigative plan employed a variety of law enforcement techniques, including surveillance in the area, controlled purchases of narcotics, and the interception of telephone communications.
“This joint effort by federal and local law enforcement agencies to identify and address the problem of drug trafficking in Indiana demonstrates the best of aggressive law enforcement,” said Hogsett. “This office shares with all the law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation a dedication to the proposition that the law abiding citizens in our neighborhoods should not have to tolerate criminal activity which threatens their safety and the peace of their communities.”
He noted that similar efforts will be undertaken in the future when facts are developed to warrant a focus of resources and personnel. “It’s simple. For every choice, there are consequences. For those who choose to illegally deal drugs and victimize people with violence, this is the consequence.”
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Barry D. Glickman, who prosecuted the case for the government, Judge McKinney also imposed five years’ supervised release following Jackson’s release from prison.