FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Dewayne Lewis, 46, of Greenwood and Fort Wayne was sentenced by United States District Judge Theresa L. Springmann after being found guilty at a bench trial for possessing more than five kilograms of cocaine with the intent to distribute, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Gary T. Bell. This case was prosecuted in the Fort Wayne Division of the Northern District of Indiana, and the defendant was sentenced in Hammond.
Lewis was sentenced to 360 months in prison, followed by 5 years of supervised release.
According to documents in this case, Lewis was distributing large quantities of cocaine and marijuana for a drug trafficking organization operating in northeast Indiana, who obtained their drug supply from a Mexican cartel. Utilizing tractor trailers, the organization transported hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and marijuana from the border area in McAllen, Texas, and offloaded the drug shipments in a warehouse in Angola. Lewis and others distributed the drugs in multi-kilogram amounts to a network of dealers in Indiana, Ohio and Michigan.
After a series of drug raids in northeastern Indiana, northwestern Ohio, and southern Texas in Jan. 2015, Lewis assisted the organization’s leader with this leader’s temporary escape to Mexico, according to documents in the case. Lewis then took over this leader’s role in collecting substantial drug proceeds and coordinating their ongoing distribution efforts. This leader was arrested in March 2015, and he and others were prosecuted in separate cases.
On Feb. 1, 2015, Lewis obtained approximately 20 kilograms of cocaine and over $1 million in cash from a hidden area in a stash location in Butler. Lewis continued collecting money from many of the organization’s major drug customers in preparation for sending money shipments back to Mexico, according to documents in the case.
Law enforcement officers found Lewis at a motel in Greenwood on Feb. 3, 2015, and officers obtained a search warrant for this motel room. According to documents in the case, after serving the search warrant, officers found Lewis in the room with approximately 20 kilograms of cocaine and a total of approximately $2.089 million in cash. The fingerprints of Lewis were recovered from some of the money packaging, and Lewis confessed to his involvement in the drug distribution operation.
“Collaboration between the FBI’s Safe Streets Gang Task Force and its law enforcement partners – the Indiana State Police, Fort Wayne Police Department and the Allen County Police Department – was key to removing not only this violent individual from our community, but the destructive poison he was moving with the intent to distribute in our neighborhoods,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan. “The dedicated work of all involved has ensured our state is a safer place for all to live, work, and visit.”
Assistance was also provided by the McAllen, Texas, and Toledo, Ohio, offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the United States Marshals Service in both the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana; along with the Auburn Police Department, the Greenwood Police Department, the Kendallville Police Department, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department, the Indiana Multi-Agency Group Enforcement (IMAGE) representing law enforcement in DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble and Steuben Counties, and the Northeast Indiana SWAT.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the FBI Fort Wayne Safe Streets Task Force; the Indiana State Police; the Allen County Sheriff’s Department; the Fort Wayne Police Department; the IMAGE Drug Task Force; the Auburn Police Department; the Kendallville Police Department; the Greenwood, Indiana, Police Department; the Johnson County, Indiana, Sheriff’s Department; the United States Marshals Service; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the Johnson County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office; and the DeKalb County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Anthony W. Geller and Stacey Speith.