(TERRE HAUTE) (WTHI) - Thanks to a collaborative effort between Federal and local law enforcement agencies, eighteen people face federal drug charges in connection to a statewide drug sting.
Tuesday federal and local law enforcement agencies busted a large methamphetamine ring connected throughout the Hoosier state that filtered into the Wabash Valley.
According to United States Attorney Joseph Hogsett, the six-month investigation was a success.
Around 6:00 a.m. Tuesday, multiple agencies arrested seventeen people throughout several counties in the Wabash Valley.
All defendants were charged with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute as well as distributing meth.
Chief John Plasse, with the Terre Haute Police Department summed up the goal of the operation which he says would have never been possible without working together.
"We talked about short term and long term effects. Short term was outstanding, long term; a warning. If you're going to do this activity here, I think we show our commitment and resolve to make our cities safe, our counties safe and local areas safe. So don't cross us or we'll be there to make you pay the price," said Chief Plasse.
Police continue to search for fugitive 32-year-old Sankey Rust from Brazil.
According to police Rust is considered to be armed and dangerous.
Police ask that you call crime stoppers at 812-238-STOP with any information. A $1,000 reward is available for information that leads to Rust's capture.
Several of the individuals that were arrested made initial appearances in court Wednesday.
All face a possible maximum sentence of ten-years to life in prison with a fine of up to $10 million.
A handful of the indicted individuals could face 20-years to life with a fine of $20 million for distributing methamphetamine.
Hogsett says the statewide meth problem led police to Columbus, Indiana before trickling down into Terre Haute and Brazil.
Hogsett says it's thanks to agencies like the Indiana State Police, Vigo County Sheriff's Department and Terre Haute Police Department that work together, that the Indiana law enforcement is able to stand up to the fight against meth.
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