INDIANAPOLIS – A Columbus man was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on methamphetamine and gun charges.

Rodney Varela, 38, pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking crime. A judge sentenced him Wednesday.

In March 2020, federal prosecutors said Varela was in possession of about 135 grams of meth and a loaded pistol when he was driving his vehicle. Officers executed a search warrant at his home, seizing an additional 700 grams of meth and five additional guns.

Rodney Varela

Since Varela had previous felony convictions in California and Indiana, he’s prohibited from possessing a firearm. He was also on parole at the time of the offense.

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigated the case.

After serving his sentence, Varela will be on supervised release for five years.