(INDIANAPOLIS) - A Dugger man and former Wabash Valley Correction Facility guard was among 40 people indicted by a federal grand jury on a variety of charges surrounding a drug ring involving that sold heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs around the state using cellphones smuggled in by guards.
Nick Schneider, of the Greene County Daily World and the Associated Press report, an FBI roundup began Wednesday for 40 individuals, including 37-year-old Jon Dobbins, of Dugger.
According to Rich Larsen, who serves as public information officer at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility in Carlisl, .Dobbins was employed as a correctional officer for 16 years. He was dismissed on July 15 following his arrest on state charges for Possession of a controlled substance, trafficking, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting Law enforcement and battery.
Court documents allege that Dobbins was found "in possession" of nearly 21 grams of a mixture and substance containing meth, and had a cellphone that he intended to "clandestinely bring" into the prison and leave with an inmate.
Dobbins was the only prison guard named in the indictment, though the document refers to multiple prison guards being involved.
U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Tim Horty says prosecutors at this time can not comment on the indictment.
The Indiana Department of Correction issued a statement saying it has been cooperating with the FBI since the investigation began and that that department uncovered the evidence that led to Dobbins and his arrest.
DOC Commissioner Bruce Lemmon expressed outrage that any IDOC employees may have played a role in making drug trafficking possible in Indiana prisons.
He says the actions of a few, brings dishonor to the good names and professionalism of the vast majority of IDOC employees who are dedicated to making the prisons safe and upholding the law.
According to a federal indictment that charges 40 people alleges that a prison inmate ran a drug ring involving at least three Indiana prisons that sold heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs around the state using cellphones smuggled in by guards.
Among the inmates charged is alleged ringleader Oscar Perez, who's serving time for murder and attempted murder. Prosecutors allege he coordinated drug sales on city streets and once conference called using smuggled cellphones with two other inmates, housed in different prisons, about "pooling their financial resources" to get a discount on heroin.
The indictment alleges that Perez and another prison inmate, Justin Addler, used cellphones to oversee the purchase of "large amounts" of heroin from a source in Chicago.
The 31-page indictment says the heroin was brought from Illinois to Indiana by the use of couriers where it was, in turn, distributed on the streets to various places in central and southern Indiana.
The activity occurred at the Westville Correction Facility in northern Indiana, the Wabash Valley Correction Facility in southwestern Indiana and the Pendleton Correctional Facility northeast of Indianapolis, according to the indictment.
According to the indictment, between June 2011 and August, inmates coordinated buying meth, heroin, PCP and acid from California and Chicago and having it shipped to Indiana, where correction officers would smuggle some of the drugs and cellphones behind bars.
At least 17 people appeared in court Wednesday in Indianapolis after about 300 FBI agents fanned out across the state and made arrests. Prosecutors say the defendants were flight risks, and the judge ordered them to remain in custody.
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