(BLOOMINGTON) - Twenty kilograms of South American cocaine to steal, four robbers plus a getaway driver, multiple guns and plans to rob a drug stash house all played into a 2011 sting operation that resulted in federal drug charges against five Bloomington residents.
On Wednesday, 29-year-old Courtney Pickett became the second person in the plot to be sent off to prison. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute with intent to possess five kilograms of cocaine and one count of carrying a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
United States Attorney Joseph Hogsett announced the indictment of five Bloomington residents on federal gun and drug charges in May 2013
The 16 count indictment follows an investigation by the Bloomington Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
Firearms and Explosives. Arrested were 24-year-old Dennis English, 29-year-old Thomas Owings, 26-year-old Courtney Pickett, 30-year-old Andre Patterson and 19-year-old Lyssa Aliano.
The indictment alleges that between November and Mid-December the five conspired to break into a Bloomington Area Property that they believed has a large quantity of narcotics. The indictment also alleged that in preparation for their crime, four of the five illegally obtained guns to use during the robbery.
The five were arrested as they attempted the robbery on Dec. 15. All five are charged with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute 5 kilograms or more of cocaine and attempted to possession of 5 or more kilograms of cocaine as well as violating the Hobbs Act (Robbery).
English, Owings, Pickett and Patterson also face gun related charges.
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