Elkhart County Chief Investigator: Largest Bust in 25 years
Posted: Sep 8, 2011 3:47 PM EST | Updated: Nov 6, 2014 10:10 AM EST
After one of the biggest busts in Elkhart County’s history, the Prosecuting Attorney says the department is not letting their guard down.
Curtis Hill, the Elkhart County Prosecutor, said with an investigation this expansive, spanning two years and ending with 12 suspects arrested, and millions of dollars worth of drugs seized, the ICE unit cut a major supply line.
But, Hill said investigators will keep digging, because there will always be other drug dealers willing to fill the gaps.
“The difficulty for them is this is a very major and expansive distribution network and you just can’t pick it up like that (snaps fingers) when we take out twelve of the key players in that situation. So it provides law enforcement a chance to get ahead of the game,” Hill said.
Law enforcement officials seized 450 pounds of marijuana, 35 pounds of cocaine, and a pound of methamphetamine, several guns, 19 vehicles, and almost $300,000 in cash.
12 people were arrested in the two-phase operation.
The county’s chief investigator, Edward Winbigler, said the people arrested were apart of two separate organizations that have been pumping large quantities in to the hands of smaller drug dealers throughout north central Indiana and Michigan.
“Those drugs are broke down into smaller amounts and sold on the street. They’re sold in the city here. They’re sold all over the place, um which then leads to many other things. You can’t have a crack house on the street without having a theft occurring the next block over, because everything ties back to drugs,” Winbigler said.
Winbigler said it’s the largest bust he’s seen in about twenty-five years, because of the number of people arrested, time-length of the investigation, quantity of drugs seized, and expansive collaboration with other Michiana law enforcement agencies.