Major drug trafficking ring taken down in Evansville - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Major drug trafficking ring taken down in Evansville

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The indictment lists homes in Evansville called "stash houses", including this auto shop on South Kentucky Avenue, The indictment lists homes in Evansville called "stash houses", including this auto shop on South Kentucky Avenue,

The U.S. Attorney's Office announces what it calls an historic take down of a major drug trafficking ring in Evansville. 

11 defendants were arrested after an interstate drug bust, six from Evansville and one from Owensboro.

They're charged with marijuana distribution conspiracy and with money laundering. The federal indictment states the drug trafficking ring had been going on since 2009.

With 28-year-old Jose Ramos of Texas as one of the ring leaders working with several in the Tri-State supporting the "Gulf Cartel", a criminal organization responsible for violent drug trafficking.

"They have a reputation for kidnapping, murder, robbery and extortion," said U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett.

The indictment states the drugs were collected in Mexico, transported in tractor-trailer shipments of carrots and other produce and distributed in the Evansville area.

Even more frightening, the indictment states that as part of the trade, those arrested were required to provide firearms to the cartel in Mexico.

"The Mexican cartel were being provided illegally purchased firearms from right here in Indiana.  Guns that were making there way South to the border to be used against anyone who stood in the way of the Gulf Cartel," Hogsett said.

The indictment also lists homes in Evansville called "stash houses", including this auto shop on South Kentucky Avenue, identified by authorities as a placed used to store drugs, money, scales and firearms.

As the investigation continues, Hogsett says those residences may be seized.

"We believe we have successfully dismantled this drug trafficking organization, and in so doing taken hundreds of pounds of marijuana off the streets of Evansville, making it safer today than it was last week," Hogsett said.

10 of the individuals are being held in jail. The female, 26-year-old Tiffany Nelson of Owensboro has been released on supervision.

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