(WASHINGTON) - Joseph H. Hogsett, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Tuesday presented a U.S. Attorney Award to Chief Deputy Gary Allison of the Daviess County Sheriff's Office.
Andrea McCann and Todd Lancaster of the Washington Times- Herald reported that the U.S. Attorney Award was established in 2003 to recognize outstanding law enforcement work in Hoosier communities as part of federal investigations and prosecutions. Fewer than three dozen total awards were presented.
"These awards can go to so many different parts of law enforcement, I think this is only one of five sheriff's departments (in the state) that has received one," Hogsett said. "Daviess County is blessed with some great law enforcement."
Joined by Sheriff Jerry Harbstreit, Hogsett applauded the significant impact the federal-local collaboration has had in the Washington area. Beginning in spring 2010, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service launched an investigation into the drug trafficking, money laundering and violent crime activities of Jose Vasquez-Silva and his organization. Allison assisted the investigation by coordinating surveillance activity in the Washington area.
Their efforts involved the interception of four cell phones from September 2010 through November 2010. Information gathered through the interceptions established that methamphetamine sources in Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago were funneling approximately 15 pounds of meth into the Daviess County area monthly.
The investigation culminated in the arrest and conviction of 27 defendants for meth and marijuana trafficking, money laundering and extortion. Another three individuals were convicted for their roles in an attempted armed home invasion in Pimento that occurred because of meth debt. During the course of the investigation, DEA seized approximately 17 pounds of meth.
The majority of the Vasquez-Silva organization has been convicted and sentenced, with many defendants receiving significant time in federal prison. Vasquez-Silva received a sentence of 300 month, and six other were sentenced to 10 years or more for their roles.
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