Federal authorities intercept 22-pound west side meth deal with ties to California, Mexico

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

UPDATE: 

Jose Zazueta pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute controlled substances. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 5 years of supervised released.

ORIGINAL STORY: 

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Three men are in the custody of U.S. Marshals, each being accused of attempted possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

Federal court documents indicate the scheme has connections to California and Mexico. And, it’s highlighting the growing problem, that more and more meth is making its way into Indiana from across the border.

The parking lot of a Little Caesar’s at 10th and Lynhurst on the west side is where a drug deal of roughly 22 pounds of Mexican meth would’ve gone down, had authorities in Texas not acted first.

“That’s disturbing. It’s disturbing everywhere you go today,” said Gregory Lee, “It could be a shoot-out, the police trying to raid somebody.”

A Texas State Trooper stopped a car on Tuesday, July 26 in Carson County, Texas on a traffic violation and found the drugs.

The driver agreed to cooperate with police and became a cooperating witness. The driver said they got the meth from a Hispanic man in Long Beach, California, with orders to deliver it to Indianapolis.

Investigators would prep the drugs for a controlled delivery in the 10th and Lynhurst shopping center parking lot on Wednesday, July 27.

When the deal moved into motion, authorities arrested their first suspect, Jose Zazueta. Federal documents indicate he told them a guy in Mexico named “Mario” got him across the border in Tijuana a couple of months ago. Then, he came to Indianapolis.

Zazueta said “Mario” called in favors. His job was to deliver drugs and get Mario his money.

Authorities and another informant then went to a far east side home in the 2200 block of Spann Avenue, where investigators arrested John Carmichael as he tried to take possession of some of the supposed methamphetamine. Federal documents indicate investigators searched the home and found money, more meth, and a gun.

Neighbors said drug dealing is common in the area. One woman was so scared to speak, we hid her identity.

“Cars buying dope all night out in front of our homes,” she said, “I don’t sit on my porch after dark at all."

Federal authorities would pick up suspect number three, Angel Roman, at a Speedway gas station on the near west side. Documents indicate he had $25,000 on him and was an intermediary supplier, with Carmichael as one of his clients.

Just Monday night at our Indy Crime Chat, U.S Attorney Josh Minkler said, in general, the influx of drugs from Mexico, is a major problem.

“Now for Indianapolis, it comes directly from the southwestern border, so there are bigger drug organizations that are shipping massive quantities of drugs into Indianapolis,” he said.

Indiana State Police said in recent years users have been making less methamphetamine at home because of the risks involved and instead seeking it from Mexico because it’s cheaper and easy to get.

They said an alleged ring like this one is likely just one of several hundred going on in the state now.

The three men appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge on Tuesday and waived their initial and detention hearings. Federal prosecutors have 30 days to seek an indictment against them before a federal grand jury.