INDIANAPOLIS — Law enforcement officials are currently looking for two individuals who were charged with their involvement in a drug trafficking and dogfighting investigation recently conducted in Indianapolis.
During a Thursday morning news conference surrounding the operation, officials said law enforcement is looking for Gregory Henderson Jr., a man who was charged with drug trafficking and his involvement in a dogfighting venture. Officials said there is a $5,000 reward for information on Henderson. Officials are also looking for Maurice Ervin, another man who was charged with involvement in the dogfighting venture.
According to previous reports, 21 individuals were charged with drug trafficking and/or dogfighting charges after a related criminal complaint was unsealed on Wednesday after a raid last week. The documents revealed at the time a dogfighting ring based out of Indianapolis had been in operation since 2001.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, 18 of the 21 individuals have been arrested, and more than 40 guns were seized. Officials also seized drugs, more than $55,000 in cash and around 90 dogs.
The individuals listed in the indictment, along with their charges, include:
|Tyrone Bell, 52||Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon|
|David Bennett, 40||Conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine|
|Edward Bronaugh, 57||Conspiracy to engage in an animal fighting venture|
|James Croons, 34||Conspiracy to engage in an animal fighting venture|
|Ramiro Rico De Leon, 31||Conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine; conspiracy to engage in money laundering|
|Erick Foster, 33||Conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine|
|Gregory Easter, 35||Conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine|
|Lauren Eggert, 32||Conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine|
|Maurice Ervin, 44||Conspiracy to engage in an animal fighting venture|
|Dontoria Gilbert, 36||Conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine|
|Gregory Henderson Jr., 43||Conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine; conspiracy to engage in money laundering; conspiracy to engage in an animal fighting venture|
|Marvin Johnson Jr., 46||Conspiracy to engage in an animal fighting venture|
|Landon Jones, 39||Conspiracy to engage in an animal fighting venture|
|Christopher Norfolk, 48||Conspiracy to engage in an animal fighting venture|
|Charles Richardson III, 43||Conspiracy to engage in an animal fighting venture; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon|
|Michael Sanders, 45||Conspiracy to engage in an animal fighting venture|
|J.C. Smith, 38||Conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine|
|Quoshawn Stewart, 34||Conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine|
|George Taylor, 44||Conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine|
|Donovan Tipler, 30||Conspiracy to engage in an animal fighting venture|
|Octavio Vicencio, 32||Conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine|
Officials with the FBI said there is one other defendant they are looking for, but they are not seeking information on them locally. Officials said they believe that the additional defendant is not in the country.
Herbert Stapleton, a special agent in charge with the FBI in Indianapolis, called the group involved the “34th Street Gangster Disciples.” Stapleton said the group was a neighborhood-based gang on the east side of Indianapolis that participated in drug trafficking and violent acts throughout the state.
While the initial investigation, which began in 2022, began with drug trafficking involving the group; it developed into also involving animal fighting and illegal gambling in and around Indianapolis, Stapleton said. The overall message from Thursday’s news conference surrounding the operation and the investigation was that it was a “huge win” for the community.
Zachary Myers, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, said the allegations are “extremely serious and deeply troubling,” including drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine being brought to Indianapolis from Mexico. Myers also cited the dogfighting allegations as troubling, stating that some of the defendants exploited the animals “in such a horrific way” for the pleasure of the individuals.
Myers said he hopes this indictment sends a message to the community and those who are engaging in similar crimes. Myers said all the individuals who were indicted are facing serious felony charges and he is looking forward to seeing them held accountable in court.
”The allegations are obviously deeply disturbing about the many dogs that were made to engage in these violent and horrific fights for the pleasure of and the gambling of the individuals who just lacked the humanity to see what was wrong in what they were doing,” Myers said.
When asked about the 90 dogs who were found during last week’s raid, Myers said they will undergo a behavioral assessment. Myers said the United States Department of Agriculture contracts with providers who have experience in taking care of dogs who were previously in dogfighting enterprises.
Myers said the providers will assess the dogs and provide them services. However, Myers said it is going to take time and work to have the best outcomes for the involved animals.
Kendale Adams, a deputy chief with IMPD, said that this operation helped rid the community of some of the drugs, illegally possessed guns and the acts that come with it. Adams stressed the operation was successful because of the combined effort of all law enforcement, something that he said should not be lost on the Indianapolis community.
Adams said the investigation into the individuals is not over, however. Law enforcement officials will continue to look into them and investigate what they were involved in.
“Today, in over 20 communities, somebody is waking up a little safer… because of the combined effort you heard about today,” Adams said during the conference.
Stapleton said during the conference that he urges Henderson and Ervin to turn themselves in, stressing that law enforcement will not rest until they are found.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts on Henderson or Ervin are asked to call 911 if it is in an emergency situation. In any other situation, they are asked to call 1-800-CALL-FBI, or 1-800-225-5324 for tips on their whereabouts. Information can also be submitted through the FBI’s website.