INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man is the latest member of a heroin trafficking network to be sentenced to federal prison.

The United States Attorney’s Office Southern District of Indiana announced Charles Kirby, 45, was sentenced to 10 years in prison following a three-day jury trial. He was convicted of heroin trafficking conspiracy and attempted possession with the intent to distribute heroin.

Kirby and his three co-conspirators Elias Parada-Borquez, Javier Lopez-Juarez, and Denice Cardenas, engaged in a conspiracy in 2019 to “distribute 2,354 grams of a heroin-fentanyl mixture in Indianapolis,” according to federal prosecutors.

The Drug Enforcement Administration says fentanyl as little as two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal, depending on a user’s size and tolerance. One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people. The amount of fentanyl involved in the Indianapolis conspiracy had the potential to kill 1,175,000 people.

Fentanyl molecula formula. Vector drawing. Vector icon

A vehicle driven by Lopez-Juarez was stopped for a traffic violation in Foristell, Missouri on May 13, 2019. Cardenas and Parada-Borquez were passengers in the vehicle. After a K-9 officer detected narcotics, the vehicle was searched and police found three wrapped packages of a heroin-fentanyl mixture in a rear spare tire.

Investigators learned the trio picked up the drugs in San Bernadino, California and were on their way to deliver the shipment to Kirby. Kirby intended to sell the heroin-fentanyl in Indianapolis, according to police.

The group was using a Mexican-based supplier, and a few weeks before the Missouri traffic stop, Parada-Borquez, Lopez-Juarez, and Cardenas drove to Indianapolis to get a motorcycle and Camaro from Kirby. The vehicles were to be used as collateral for a drug debt owed to the drug trafficking organization in Mexico.

Kirby was arrested that night and was found in possession of a loaded Glock .45 handgun at the time of his arrest. He was acquitted by the jury for carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug trafficking offense.

Parada-Borquez, Lopez-Juarez and Cardenas all pleaded guilty to their participation in the heroin trafficking conspiracy.

They received the following sentences:

  • Elias Parada-Borquez, 42, of Mexico: 41 months in federal prison followed by one year of supervised release
  • Javier Lopez-Juarez, 24, of San Bernadino, California: 46 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release
  • Denice Cardenas, 40, of San Bernadino, California: 40 months in federal prison followed by four years of supervised release

As part of Kirby’s sentence, Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson ordered that he be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for five years following his release from federal prison.