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Multiple Defendants Indicted in Heroin Distribution Conspiracy

OCT 20 (SOUTH BEND, Ind.) ―Nine individuals from the Chicago and Michigan City areas have been indicted for their alleged roles in a heroin distribution conspiracy that operated from approximately 2009 through the present.  A principal object of the conspiracy was to procure quantities of heroin for ultimate distribution in northwest Indiana.  The charges were announced by Dennis Wichern, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, which includes Indiana, and David Capp, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana.

“Our top priority in achieving violence reduction is dismantling these drug trafficking organizations that are responsible for much of the crime in our communities,” said SAC Wichern. “Our joint efforts in this investigation have made a real impact on the supply and distribution of heroin, and the violence it breeds by targeting the source and holding alleged members and associates of the organization accountable for their actions,” he added.

This indictment was the result of an extensive, cooperative law enforcement investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Michigan City Police Department and the Porter County Drug Task Force.  The Chicago Police Department provided excellent assistance throughout.

Antwon Willis, 44, a.k.a. “Yellow” of Richton Park, Illinois is alleged to be the primary source for much of the heroin. Also named in the indictment are: 

Tyquin Dinkins, age 35, of Chicago, Illinois
Tracy West, age 33, of Chicago, Illinois 
Jordan Gutkowski, age 28 of Michigan City, Indiana  
Brandon Heuer, age 28 of Michigan City, Indiana  
Nathan Mougros, age 26 of Michigan City, Indiana  
Derrick Penwell, age 31 of Michigan City, Indiana
Brittany Lemond, age 26 of Michigan City, Indiana
James Jones, age 26

The indictment outlines numerous trips and phone calls by these defendants to purchase heroin from Willis.  Once purchased, the heroin was brought back to LaPorte County and Porter County for use and resale to others.

Three of these individuals, Penwell, Lemond and Jones, were previously arrested as a result of an investigation by the Porter County Drug Task Force and are facing charges in Porter County.  The Porter County Prosecutor’s office and the United States Attorney’s office worked together on this indictment and it is anticipated that these three defendants will soon be transferred to federal custody.  All remaining defendants were arrested late last week by the DEA and Michigan City Police Department.

The United States Attorney’s office will seek to hold all of these defendants without bond.  All defendants will be appearing before a United States Magistrate Judge in South Bend for their initial hearings and detention hearings this week.

The charges contained in an indictment are merely accusations and all persons charged are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.

This case is being prosecuted for the United States Attorney’s office by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Schaffer in South Bend.

Parents and children are encouraged to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting DEA's interactive websites at www.JustThinkTwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.


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