FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A restaurateur once convicted of dealing cocaine is now accused of more drug crimes after Fort Wayne police found a record amount of fentanyl during one single raid in the department’s history at a south side home Thursday.

Officers arrested 47-year-old Derek L. Taylor on a litany of felony counts, including dealing in a narcotic drug and dealing cocaine, when a SWAT unit found more than three pounds of fentanyl at a Bowser Avenue home.

That home and Taylor’s shuttered restaurant on Oxford Street, Big Momma’s Kitchen, were both associated with narcotics sales, police said in a news release.

Unbeknownst to Taylor, officers from the Fort Wayne Police’s narcotics division had him under surveillance during parts of this past August and earlier this month, according to newly released Allen Superior Court documents.

One officer working undercover and using marked money bought baggies of cocaine weighing roughly 3.5 grams from Taylor twice at the Bowser Avenue home, court documents said.

Other officers noted heavy foot traffic coming and going at the home at all hours of the day and night, with people making short stops that are “indicative of narcotics dealing,” court documents said.

They also watched people walk from the house to the restaurant during surveillance, court documents said.

Derek L. Taylor

After the undercover buys, officers were able to get a search warrant to raid the home on Bowser as well as Big Momma’s Kitchen.

Officers with the narcotics unit and the department’s Emergency Services Team – its version of a SWAT unit – found no drugs in the restaurant, which appeared to no longer be in operation with no food supplies inside and an expired food permit displayed on the wall.

They did find a loaded 9-millimeter handgun on an open shelf upon entering the front door of the restaurant, court documents said.

Inside the home, though, officers found 1,466.7 grams – which is about 3.1 pounds – of a powder substance that tested positive for fentanyl, court documents said.

Officers also found 53 grams of small round M-30 pills that tested positive for fentanyl as well as 16.7 grams of a grey chunky material that also tested positive for fentanyl, court documents and the police news release said.

They also found 56.4 grams of cocaine, 21.4 grams of crack cocaine and 281.1 grams – or more than a half of a pound – of heroin inside the home, court documents said.

Along with the drugs, which had a street value of over $267,600, officers found baggies and scales.

“The presence of these items: baggies, scales, and large amounts of narcotics is indicative of narcotics being trafficked by Taylor from this residence,” one officer wrote in court documents.

Two handguns and one rifle, all loaded with ammunition, were also found in the home.

Police found Taylor at an address on Webster Street after the raid and took him into custody. At this location, they found another handgun, police said in the news release.

Taylor is preliminarily charged with the following:

  • Two Level 2 felony counts of dealing, manufacturing, delivering or financing of a narcotic drug in 10 or more grams.
  • Two Level 3 felony counts of dealing, manufacturing, delivering or financing cocaine between 1 and 5 grams.
  • A Level 4 felony count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.
  • A Level 6 felony count of maintaining a common nuisance.

In 2015, Taylor was convicted of dealing cocaine in Allen County and sentenced to six years in prison. He was also convicted of dealing cocaine in 1996, according to court documents and court records.

This past August, Taylor filed a petition to have his previous criminal record – which includes multiple felony and misdemeanor convictions – expunged.

Eight days before Fort Wayne police raided the home where they found the fentanyl, Allen County prosecutors argued in court documents Taylor was not eligible for expungement on any of his convictions.

His petition for expungement is still pending.