INDIANAPOLIS — A lengthy investigation into illegal guns and drugs led to a police chase and crash last Tuesday on Indy’s northwest side.

Police said the investigation began in January on the east side of Indianapolis. Even though it ended with a crash at W. 38th Street and Moller Road, police insist cases like this are making the city safer.

During a raid of a home on Catherwood Avenue in January and a second home on East 24th Street, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said it seized several illegal guns, pictured below.

Seven suspects were arrested as a result of the raid and numerous drugs were confiscated, police said, including meth, cocaine, heroin and marijuana.

“The investigation did not stop there,” said IMPD East District Commander Richard Riddle. “They followed up on leads to another house on East District where they think the drug operation continued.”

After setting up surveillance on a third home, last week IMPD tried to pull over a car with three more suspects. However, the driver did not stop and the vehicle crashed into three cars stopped at a red light on West 38th Street.

Police arrested all three men and seized more drugs along with two handguns, one of which was previously reported stolen.

“Every single person in that vehicle, three of them, qualify to be charged as a serious violent felon in possession of a handgun,” said Riddle.

In fact, court records show the driver, Brian Lane, had five outstanding warrants for drug and weapons cases spanning from Marion County to DeKalb County.

“Those are people we are very concerned about committing further crimes,” said Riddle. “East District is targeting violent individuals that have a propensity to commit violent crimes in these communities.”

The investigation was orchestrated by IMPD’s East District Violence Reduction Team. Officials said their goal is to reduce violence by cracking down on illegal guns and targeting specific repeat offenders.

Commander Riddle said he believes that work is saving lives.

“Big picture, if you look across the city our violence numbers are trending in a direction we’re happy about,” said Riddle. “So, that’s exactly what we are focusing our efforts on, is to prevent that violence.”

The three suspects arrested on 38th Street are all being held on bonds that range from $100,000 to $200,000. Pictured below is some of the evidence recovered during the investigation.

IMPD posted the following narrative regarding the case:

The East District Violence Reduction Team (Day Shift) was conducting surveillance on a residence on the east side of Indianapolis. This was a continuing investigation that started in January of this year. Several suspects in the investigation were career criminals with previous firearm related convictions. One suspect in the investigation was a “Sexually Violent Predator” (I.C. 35-38-1-7.5) as defined by Indiana statute. All suspects met the statutory requirements to be considered “Serious Violent Felons” (I.C. 35-47-4-5) in the state of Indiana.

On April 5, 2022, Officers conducted surveillance in an undercover capacity reference the investigation. They followed the suspects from the eastside to the northwest side of Indianapolis. Sgt. Kavanaugh assisted in his fully marked patrol vehicle and attempted to make a traffic stop at the 3400 block of Falcon Drive.  The driver did not stop.

A pursuit ensued and it ended at the intersection of W. 38th Street and Moller Road when the driver crashed into two other vehicles. There were no injuries sustained from the vehicle crashes.  The driver fled from the scene of the crash on foot.  

Sgt. Kavanaugh a veteran of 20 years, using his cat like reflexes and super human speed, gave chase on foot. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Sgt. Kavanaugh suddenly had to rely on younger officers to continue the foot chase. Using his common sense and cunning veteran knowledge, Sgt. Kavanaugh stayed with the suspect vehicle anticipating the driver may double back. A few seconds later and to the relief of Sgt. Kavanaugh’s pride, the driver popped out between two houses running back to their vehicle. The suspect knew their plan had been foiled and they gave up to Sgt. Kavanaugh as other officers arrived on scene to assist. The two passengers that remained in the vehicle were taken into custody without further incident. 

While at the scene of the crash, Sgt. Kavanaugh observed one of the passengers throw a small bag out of the passenger side window of the vehicle. An IMDP Interdiction Officer’s K9 partner, Panda, did a sniff of the bag and got an immediate indication for narcotics. 

We wanted to highlight the great work by East District Violence Reduction Team (Day Shift) over the last several months on this investigation. At the scene of the arrest, we wanted to recognize Northwest District Officers, Officers of the Indiana Crime Gun Task Force, and IMPD Interdiction officers who assisted.

During the investigation, the following was discovered:

  • 2 Handguns 
  • 45 grams of meth
  • 30 grams of heroin
  • 9 grams of crack
  • 10 grams of marijuana
  • $747 Cash

All three suspects were arrested for firearm possession by a serious violent felon along with narcotic offenses. The driver faced additional charges for resisting law enforcement and leaving the scene of an accident. Along with the additional charges, the driver had five outstanding warrants. One of those warrants was for a possession of a firearm by a serious felon.