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Four Members of Armed Fentanyl, Methamphetamine and Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy Convicted Following Federal Jury Trial

Human RightsFour Members of Armed Fentanyl, Methamphetamine and Cocaine Trafficking Conspiracy Convicted Following Federal Jury Trial

INDIANAPOLIS — A federal jury has found four men guilty for their roles in a multi-state drug trafficking ring that dealt large quantities of fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine in Indianapolis. Seventeen other members of the conspiracy entered guilty pleas prior to trial.

Keith Jones, aka “Keybo” 57, of Indianapolis, was found guilty of conspiracy to distribute drugs and engage in money laundering, leading a continuing criminal enterprise and illegally possessing multiple handguns and an assault rifle, among other charges. Jones’s convictions carry a mandatory sentence of life in prison.

Kevin Backstrom, 57, of Los Angeles, California, was found guilty of conspiracy to distribute drugs and engage in money laundering. Backstrom’s convictions carry a potential sentence of no less than 10 years up to life in prison.

Anthony Moore, 37, of Indianapolis, was found guilty of conspiracy to distribute drugs, among other charges. Moore’s convictions carry a potential sentence of no less than 10 years up to life in prison.

Herman Wesley Tavorn, 42, of Indianapolis, was found guilty of possessing with intent to distribute fentanyl. Tavorn’s conviction carries a potential sentence of no less than 10 years up to life in prison.

The jury acquitted a fifth defendant, Charles Davis, 38, of Indianapolis, who was charged with one count of possession with intent to distribute controlled substances.

These individuals were charged along with seventeen others in a series of federal indictments beginning in July of 2022, for their roles in this drug trafficking ring.

According to court documents and evidence introduced at trial, Jones orchestrated other co-defendants, including Moore and Tavorn, to distribute fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine throughout Indianapolis. Jones obtained the drugs from Backstrom in California, which were sent to Jones in parcels using fictitious names. The evidence showed that Jones received the parcels, repackaged them and distributed them to others for them to redistribute to others. At one point, Jones enlisted his twelve-year-old daughter to assist him in the distribution of the controlled substances. The evidence also showed that Jones and his co-defendants disguised the money they received from drug trafficking as Jones sent a portion of it to Backstrom in California.

During the execution of search warrants in this case, law enforcement seized approximately forty-three firearms, $300,000 in U.S. currency, four ounces of methamphetamine, one kilogram of cocaine and two kilograms of fentanyl.

The seventeen other defendants have plead guilty and will be sentenced at a later date.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, IRS Criminal Investigations, Indianapolis Metropolitan Drug Task Force, Hamilton/Boone County Drug Task Force, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated this case. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Walton Pratt presided over the trial and will sentence the defendants at a later date.

Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana; Michael Gannon, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Indianapolis Field Office; Chief Randal Taylor, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department; Major Charles Harting, Hamilton-Boone County Drug Task Force; Daryl S. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division; and Justin Campbell, Special Agent in Charge, Chicago Field Office, IRS Criminal Investigations made the announcement.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brad Blackington and Kelsey Massa, who are prosecuting this case.

This prosecution is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the U.S. by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.

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Story from www.atf.gov

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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