Seven people, including five from Indiana, have learned their sentences after a wide-ranging investigation cracked a methamphetamine and marijuana ring.
According to federal investigators, the group shipped in large amounts of meth and marijuana from California to addresses in Muncie and Anderson. The drugs were then resold in Muncie, Anderson, Gosport and Brazil, Indiana.
Multiple members of the group possessed firearms to protect their drugs and money, federal prosecutors said. The drug operation ran from June 2019 through December 2019 and was broken up after a monthslong investigation involving multiple law enforcement agencies.
The individuals were previously indicted on charges in 2019 and 2020. Indiana residents sentenced in the case for conspiracy to distribute controlled substances were:
- James Briscoe, 39, Muncie: 23 years in prison, 10 years supervised release
- Damarus Page, 40, Anderson: 10 years in prison, 5 years supervised release
- Bradley Clephane, 37, Gosport: 262 months (over 21 years) in prison, 5 years supervised release
- Christopher Bays, 36, Brazil: 16.5 years in prison, 5 years supervised release
- James Bell, 43, Muncie: 8 years in prison, 3 years supervised release
In addition to the Indiana residents, two men from California have also been sentenced in connection with the drug ring.
On Wednesday, a federal district judge sentenced Mikhail Mgebrow, 39, from Tarzana, California, to 10 years in prison with 5 years of supervised release.
Another California man, Jeremi Zarco, 31, of Woodland Hills, California, has been sentenced to more than 16 years in prison with 5 years of supervised release.
According to court documents, Zarco and Mgebrow arranged for drugs to be shipped from California to various states for re-distribution. Once in Indiana, Page supplied the drugs to Briscoe for redistribution.
The court documents go on to say Briscoe supplied the drugs to Bell, Clephane and Bays, among others for re-distribution. Bell also facilitated the drug trafficking by transporting the drugs. Bell and Briscoe also used third parties to transport drugs.
The documents state Clephane distributed the drugs in the Gosport area and Bays distributed drugs in the Brazil area. Among the evidence against Bays was a phone conversation he had with an unknown male about the poor quality of the methamphetamine that Bays sold the male, saying people the male sold the drugs to were complaining about the quality.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Postal Inspection Service investigated the case with help from the Muncie Police Department, the Anderson Police Department, the Terre Haute Police Department, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and Indiana State Police.