Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:40

Indianapolis Heroin Ring Alleged at City Body Shop

A federal grand jury has indicted four Indianapolis, IN, men for allegedly operating a heroin distribution ring out of an inner-city auto body shop, prosecutors said April 10, 2014.

The indictment contained charges of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance against Francisco Javier Perez-Garcia, 36; Mario Vasquez, 26; Agustin Martinez-Acosta, 46; and Jeronimo Lagunes, 27. Perez-Garcia and Vasquez also were charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, prosecutors said.

The ring sold heroin from Perez-Garcia’s body shop in the Brightwood neighborhood on the near northeast side of Indianapolis, prosecutors said. Customers would phone the body shop to order heroin and Perez-Garcia, Vasquez, and Martinez-Acosta would sell it to them, they said. Prosecutors said they believe the heroin originated in Mexico, California, and Houston, TX.

During a traffic stop of Lagunes’ car March 23, 2014, on Interstate 70 west of Indianapolis, Brownsburg police found more than a kilogram of heroin in a Gucci purse in the rear of the vehicle, prosecutors said. The heroin with a street value of about $100,000 had been destined for the ring to distribute on the east side of Indianapolis.

“Heroin has become the scourge of our community in the past several years,” U.S. attorney Joe Hogsett said. “Few substances are more lethal right now. Heroin has no socio-economic or racial boundary and impacts every corner of our state.”

The Drug Enforcement Administration increased heroin seizures more than threefold between 2008 and 2013, said Dennis Wichern, assistant special agent in charge for Indiana.

The defendants face mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years to life if convicted, prosecutors said. All four men are in federal custody.

A message seeking comment was left for an attorney for Lagunes. Court records did not list attorneys for the other three men.