Trial against accused Indy drug kingpin Richard Grundy III begins in federal court

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The federal trial for accused Indianapolis drug kingpin Richard Grundy III got underway Monday.

The convicted drug dealer faces a series of federal charges that could send him to prison for the rest of his life.

Jury selection lasted the entire day.  Because the case involves one of Indy's most notorious suspects, protecting the safety of the men and women selected to serve as jurors is a priority for the court.

Back in November 2017, federal agents raided a series of homes around Indianapolis, dismantling a major drug trafficking organization prosecutors say was led by Grundy. Those raids led to federal charges against Grundy and more than 20 other suspects.

Most of Grundy's co-defendants have since pleaded guilty, but Grundy and four others are taking the case to trial.

The federal indictment claims Grundy imported thousands of pounds of marijuana and hundreds of pounds of meth from Arizona, as well as smaller amounts of cocaine and heroin.

While security in federal court is always tight, during the trial extra measures are being taken to protect the jurors selected.

Grundy and his co-defendants will wear leg shackles in court, although steps are being taken to make sure the jurors don't see the restraints. The suspects will not be informed of jurors' names.

Court records claim over the years Grundy has attempted to intimidate witnesses and threatened to kill anyone who cooperated with the federal government.

Those threats can't be taken lightly because Marion County prosecutors claim Grundy and his crew were linked to a series of murders, despite the fact that charges of conspiracy to commit murder against Grundy were dismissed in 2017.

Instead, Grundy pleaded guilty to marijuana possession.

The federal drug raids and the charges Grundy currently faces were filed two months after that guilty plea.

Selecting a jury in this case hasn't been easy because the trial is expected to last six weeks.  As a result, many people today expressed concerns about taking part in such a long trial.

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