An Indianapolis man was found guilty Tuesday of multiple charges relating to his involvement in a massive million-dollar drug ring.
Geraldo Colon, 48, was convicted of drug distribution, money laundering and false bankruptcy after a six-day jury trial.
Narcotics investigators started monitoring Colon in May 2014, when they learned that large amounts of heroin, cocaine and meth were being shipped from Phoenix to Greenwood, Indiana. The drugs were taken to a store, Muebleria Luz Furniture Store, which is owned by Colon, in a strip mall in northwest Indianapolis. He then distributed the drugs to other traffickers throughout the city.
A search through Colon’s trash unearthed heat-seal boxes and hundreds of small rubber bands, which are commonly used in drug trafficking and are “used to band together cash in $1,000 increments,” according to court documents.
Colon was arrested March 24, 2015. Although he had filed for bankruptcy in September 2014, investigators found more than $21,500 when they searched his car and person during the arrest, according to court documents. On the day he filed for bankruptcy, he reported his year-to-date income as $11,000 and said he had only $200 in cash on hand. In his car, investigators also found a list of 20 cars, some with license plate numbers, that were law enforcement surveillance vehicles.
After obtaining a warrant and searching Colon’s home on March 25, 2015, investigators found several kilos of heroin and cocaine and roughly $1,000,000 in cash.
The investigation that netted Colon, Operation Family Ties, also led to the arrests of 20 others involved in the drug ring in Indianapolis. Two men who were distributors like Colon have been sentenced in the case so far. Wade Havvard was sentenced to 31 years in May 2016, and Daniel Stewart was sentenced to life without parole in November 2016.
“The negative impact this organization had on the lives and families of Indianapolis is un-measureable, yet devastating,” said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Bryan Roach in a press release. “I am thankful for the good work and passion all the detectives working in collaboration with our federal partners who continue to pursue these types of crimes and criminals to change lives and make Indianapolis a safer place.”
This case was investigated by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security Investigations, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.
“The goal of this office is to make the Southern District of Indiana the worst place in America to sell drugs,” U.S. attorney Josh Minkler said in a press release. “That is accomplished by investigations like this which arrest drug dealers, detain them without bond, convict them at trial and request lengthy mandatory minimum sentences in federal prison.”
Colon is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison. His sentencing date has not yet been set.
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