News Release
Date: January 25, 2012
Contact: Will Taylor
Number: 312-886-2597

Methamphetamine Drug Courier Receives 10 Years in Prison

INDIANAPOLIS – Jack Riley, Special Agent in Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, announced that John M. Gootee, age 39, Washington, IN, was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Gootee was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jane E. Magnus-Stinson on January 23, 2012 following a guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

“This investigation and prosecution was a true team effort,” said Hogsett. “Working with federal agents and local law enforcement, we have wiped out a dangerous criminal organization in this community. Judge Magnus-Stinson’s sentencing decision ensures that Mr. Gootee won’t walk the streets of Washington for a long, long time.”

Gootee was part of a methamphetamine and marijuana distribution ring that was allegedly led by Jose Vasquez-Silva. Gootee was a drug courier for the organization, which distributed approximately fifteen pounds of methamphetamine per month in Daviess and Knox counties between August 2009 and December 9, 2010.

Federal agencies that assisted in this investigation included the Drug Enforcement Administration, the United States Marshal’s Service, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. State and local agencies involved included the Indiana State Police, as well as the Vincennes Police Department, Washington Police Department, Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, Vigo County Sheriff’s Department, and Gibson County Sheriff’s Department.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley A. Blackington, who prosecuted the case for the government, Judge Magnus-Stinson also imposed five years supervised release following Gootee’s release from prison. During the period of supervised release, Gootee must undergo drug testing. In addition, Gootee was fined in the amount of $500.

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at, and