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Indianapolis Criminal Defense Law Blog

Anonymous tip leads to indictment for alleged drug crimes

A resident of northwest Indianapolis has been arrested and indicted on suspicion of several drug crimes based upon the results of a joint investigation by the Plainfield police department and the Metropolitan Drug Task Force. The suspect is facing charges for possession with intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and related criminal charges.

The case began when a Plainfield police officer, working as a member of the Metropolitan Drug Task Force, allegedly received an anonymous tip about a supposed drug tracker working in Indianapolis. Based upon the tip, police began watching two addresses, one in northwest Indianapolis and one in Avon. After an unspecified period of surveillance, officers obtained search warrants for both addresses. The address in Avon turned out to be the residence of the suspect, but police say they recovered eight guns, two digital scales bearing traces of cocaine and more than $310,000 in cash. At the address in Indianapolis, police allegedly discovered a marijuana harvesting operation, including 40 pounds of marijuana in sealed plastic bags.

Charged with fraud? Don't cheat yourself out of a strong defense.

White-collar crime charges are serious offenses, and Indiana residents convicted of these types of crimes could face a myriad of penalties that may impact the rest of their lives. If you find yourself under investigation for a white-collar crime or you are already facing charges, there is no time to lose in protecting your interests.

One of the most common types of white-collar crimes is fraud. Fraud is a term that encompasses various types of criminal activities, but they all relate to financial misconduct and dishonesty in some way. While you may feel overwhelmed by your current situation, it is possible to defend yourself effectively, mitigating potential penalties and possibly avoiding conviction.

Four teenagers facing gun charges after traffic stop

Traffic stops in Indianapolis generally do not lead to serious criminal charges, but occasionally, a police officer will notice something about the vehicle or the driver that arouses suspicion about other criminal activity. In such cases, the police may make a thorough search of the vehicle, the driver and any passengers for evidence of additional criminal activity. A recent arrest by the Indiana State police shows how a relatively small violation of the state's traffic laws can lead to the possibility of far more serious criminal charges being lodged against the driver and passengers.

The stop reportedly occurred when a state trooper noticed a minivan driving with only one functioning headlight. When the trooper stopped the van, he learned that the driver did not possess a valid license. Neither did any of the five passengers in the van. Police then conducted a search of the vehicle before they impounded it. The search allegedly revealed three handguns, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Police say that one of the guns was reported stolen. Police also allege that they found a black ski mask near one of the guns.

Mall shoe store alleged to be front for suspected heroin dealer

Suburban shopping malls attempt to attract customers by providing a wide array of stores selling a wide variety of merchandise. In a twist on this marketing strategy, police are now alleging that a shoe store in the Castleton Square Mall in Indianapolis has been used as a front to hide the operations of a suspected heroin dealer. The man alleged to be the mastermind of the operation is now facing charges for a number of drug crimes.

According to court records, 19 people were arrested at the end of a month-long investigation by Muncie police and Indiana state police. The arrests alerted police to the possibility that a shoe store in the mall was being used as a front for the sale of heroin. On Sept. 11, after obtaining a search warrant, police entered the shoe store premises and allegedly found about 102 grams of heroin, a scale, video recording equipment, heat sealed bags and a "substantial amount" of cash that was hidden in a display case in the room being used for the drug-selling operation.

Home invasion, slaying allegedly related to drug crimes

There was recently a killing that occurred in the Indianapolis suburb of Greenwood. The killing happened during what police describe as an attempt to steal marijuana.

According to police, a masked man knocked on the door of an apartment in the Bridle Farms subdivision shortly after midnight. When the door opened, at least one inhabitant of the apartment and the intruder began firing weapons. One of the victims called 911 and asked for police assistance. The caller stated that "We need cops here . . . We're both shot!" Police arrived to find that both occupants of the apartment had each been wounded several times in the arms and legs. One witness said that bullet holes were found "everywhere" in the apartment. Marijuana and at least one pistol were visible in plain sight in the apartment. The supposed intruder was also wounded several times, and he died in the driveway in front of the home. A second suspect who was apparently driving a getaway car sped off. Police were still searching for him at last report. Police said they found $4,000 in cash, a number of guns and LSD in the apartment.

It may have been homicide, but may not have been murder

You have the right to defend yourself. If someone died during those actions, you may not have committed murder under Indiana law. However, it's not as simple as telling police that you were defending yourself.

This can be a complex concept to prove in court. Even when the situation appears to be an obvious case of self-defense, certain questions need answering first. Understanding the scrutiny you will face may help you understand why you must go through this process. After all, another person died, and officials want to ensure that it was not the result of criminal activity.

Movie theater dispute escalates into murder of 13-year-old boy

An argument between male teenagers in a movie theater in the Castleton Square Mall in north Indianapolis apparently escalated into an exchange of gunshots and the death of a 13-year-old boy. Metropolitan Police detectives are currently searching for the person who allegedly committed the violent crime in the parking lot of a Long John Silver's restaurant across the street from the mall on Sept. 9.

The victim had just begun 8th grade at Belzer Middle School. According to witnesses, the boy was shot to death in the restaurant parking lot at about 10:00 p.m. Witnesses told police that a fight allegedly erupted in a movie theater in the shopping mall and that the fight eventually spilled into the street. Once the disputants reached the open air, gunfire was heard. Police are still trying to determine a motive for the murder and identify potential suspects. They are currently reviewing images from the mall's surveillance camera system in an effort to find images of the initial fight and the shooting.

Former tow operated charged with fraud, auto theft and forgery

Tow trucks are a common sight in Indiana's cities and villages, where they are used to haul vehicles from accident scenes and remove cars that have been illegally parked. The former owner of a towing service based in Terre Haute is now facing criminal charges for allegedly using such activity to cover up fraud, auto theft, perjury and forgery.

The owner operated the towing service in and around Terre Haute until he sold it in January 2016. Police received their first complaint about the business on Feb. 18, 2016, when they received a complaint that the towing service had stolen a citizen's car. The auto theft unit of the Terre Haute Police Department began to investigate all business operations that occurred between Oct. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2016.

Judge declares Indiana's civil forfeiture law unconstitutional

Indiana and many other states have civil forfeiture statutes that permit law enforcement officers to seize a suspect's property, including automobiles, without filing criminal charges. Under Indiana's law, property may be held for 180 days before police are required to file a civil forfeiture complaint to determine ownership of the property. A federal judge has recently ruled that this statute violates the fifth and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution, thereby giving criminal defense attorneys and their clients a very important judicial victory.

The case began in September 2016 when an officer with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department stopped a driver for a traffic violation and found a small amount of marijuana in the car. Based on the discovery of marijuana, the officer impounded the man's car. The suspect's attorney then launched a federal class action lawsuit on behalf of all criminal defendants whose cars had been seized by the police. Between November 2016 and February 2017, law enforcement agencies in Indianapolis had seized 169 vehicles, or about 11 per week.

Ten people indicted on drug trafficking charges in Indiana

Drug dealers in Indianapolis and other cities seldom work alone. Dealers who sell drugs on the street usually obtain them from persons who bring the drugs into a city or neighborhood. The drugs probably crossed state and international borders before they arrive at their destination.

This type of network may be at the heart of indictments recently announced by the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. According to the announcement, 10 persons were indicted for various drug crimes allegedly committed during the operation of a local drug ring. The announcement claimed that the indictment dismantled a ring of drug dealers who sold methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin throughout Indianapolis.

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