FBI conducts multiple raids around Fort Wayne; 21 indicted

Crime

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Federal agents served search warrants at several properties around Fort Wayne early Wednesday related to a drug-dealing take-down effort.

Police work at a home at 1909 Black Bear Drive in Fort Wayne on June 26, 2019.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has confirmed that FBI agents along with Fort Wayne Police, Allen County Sheriff’s deputies and Indiana State Police raided properties on Black Bear Drive in the Morgan Creek neighborhood association, Bowser Avenue, Huestis Avenue, North Highland Boulevard, and Maurane Drive. WANE 15 also learned that authorities were at an apartment in the Canterbury Green Apartments complex and a transitional home along Fairfield Avenue.

All told, 12 search warrants were served in Fort Wayne as part of a FBI Safe Streets Operation, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The Justice Department said later that eight indictments had come down, charging 21 people with various drug distribution charges.

Narcotic distribution is one of the precursors to violent crime.  Today with the arrest of these individuals we made a serious impact on the distribution of narcotics in the greater Fort Wayne Area.  Local police agencies like Fort Wayne PD, the Allen County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police worked tirelessly in coordination with the FBI to build these cases in Fort Wayne to help reduce violence associated with drug distribution.”

U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch

Indicted were:

  • Jennifer Mendoza, age 24, and Luiza Gunn a/k/a Luiza Eldridge, age 26, both of Fort Wayne were each charged in a three (3) count indictment alleging the distribution of fentanyl.
  • Ivan Acosta a/k/a Ivan Acosta-Soto, age 35, and Juan Hernandez-Ortega, age 31, both of Fort Wayne were charged in a three (3) count indictment alleging the distribution of methamphetamine.
  • Ubaldo Peralta-Soto, age 25, of Indianapolis; Clemente Cortez, age 45, of Fort Wayne; and Nestor Luna-Lugo, age 34, of Fort Wayne were charged in a four (4) count indictment alleging conspiracy to distribute cocaine as well as the distribution of cocaine.
  • Juvenal Cervantes-Cruz, age 25, of Red Bluff, CA along with Christian Diaz, age 22, and Jesus Sanchez, Jr, age 21, both of Fort Wayne were charged in a five (5) count indictment alleging the distribution of marijuana, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and providing a residence for the storage and distribution of narcotics.
  • Fredi Garcia-Gamez, age 33, Miguel Navarrete-Garcia, age 43, and Tomas Vega-Perez, age 41, all of Fort Wayne were charged in a three (3) count indictment alleging the distribution of heroin and providing a residence for the storage and distribution of narcotics.
  • Jesus Soto-Arellanes a/k/a Chuy, age 37, and Erik De Leon Verduzco-Garcia a/k/a Pulpo, age 33, both of Fort Wayne along with Roberto Soto-Arellanes, age 43, Jesus Alberto Soto-Garcia a/k/a Chubeto, age 35 and Edbel Alejandro Soto-Verduzco, age 28, all of Columbia City were charged in a twelve (12) count indictment alleging conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana along with other drug distribution and gun possession charges.
  • Roderick Dedeaux a/k/a Rodrick Dedeaux, age 29, of Fort Wayne was charged in a five (5) count indictment alleging distribution of fentanyl, methamphetamine and carrying a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime.
  • Juan Salas, age 30, of Fort Wayne was charged in in an eight (8) count indictment alleging the distribution of fentanyl.

Grant Mendenhall, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Division, said the raids were the culmination of more than a year’s worth of investigative activity.

“This was an outstanding example of Federal and State agencies working together to positively impact Northeast Indiana by disrupting and dismantling a large scale drug trafficking organization,” said Mendenhall. “These arrests should serve as a reminder that we will continue to target these offenders and the impact they are having on our communities.”

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