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Bloomington police conduct undercover sting operation


First row: Terrence Sanders, Timothy Sanders, Colin Humphries, Chad Sylvester, Tyrone Adams, Lisa Edwards. Second row: Brittney Embry, Seth Patterson, Latoya Evans, Chad Pante, Shawna Roberts, Kary Todd. Third row: Jessica Rhodes, Jessica Mayhew, Jama Bales, Vincent Bell, Jasmine Pugh, Mercadees Riordan. Courtesy Photo

When Bloomington police started an investigation into a drug trafficking organization with roots in Chicago, they did not have much to go on, just a confidential informant, a story and a man nicknamed Huey.

After several months of investigating, though, with the assistance of several other state and federal law enforcement agencies, 14 have been arrested in connection with this organization and authorities have issued warrants against four Bloomington residents

The start of the investigation into a series of the narcotic drug deals began with the development of a confidential informant on June 26, 2017, according to court documents.

Probable cause affidavits by Detective Shawn Hines detailed the investigation.

The Bloomington Police Department Special Investigations Unit was approached by a confidential informant. This individual said he knew someone, whom he called Huey, who was bringing narcotics from Chicago for distribution in Bloomington.

The informant offered this information in exchange for “possible consideration regarding multiple misdemeanor charges he faces.”

The informant gave police Huey’s phone number and address and told police he had seen over an ounce of heroin at Huey’s house. He said Huey got his heroin from Chicago and returned to Bloomington to sell it with a partner the informant described as tall and skinny.

As part of the investigation, Bloomington police conducted three controlled buys. The first two were in September and the third in October.

On Sept. 12, the informant contacted police saying he could purchase drugs from Huey. Through text messages, police were able to determine Huey’s name — Terrance Sanders, a Bloomington resident.

The informant and Sanders agreed to meet at 1122 W. 11 St., the Our Way C Store, that afternoon.

“I’m almost there, G,” the informant texted Sanders.

The "G" in the text message indicated the informant was interested in purchasing a gram of heroin. The informant and Hines were driving to the meeting place when the informant got out of the car and Det. Hines drove away to not arouse suspicion. Another detective was posted nearby for surveillance. 

The informant wore a camera and microphone during the deal. He was given money from the BPD crime control fund.

The informant briefly got in and out of a black Chrysler 300. The car drove away to get the heroin and left the informant behind. When the car returned, the informant entered again. He said Huey gave the drugs to the skinny, tall man, who gave them to the informant, who then gave the man the money and left the car.

When the informant met up with Hines after the deal, he gave him six foil packs. Hines was able to determine the rock-like substance found in the foil was heroin, though it is department policy not to test powdered substances, in case they contain fentanyl.

The second deal, on Sept. 12, 2017, was similar. Another meeting at the same convenience store. Another microphone and camera. Another six foil packs of heroin.

This was followed by another attempted drug deal where Sanders encouraged the informant not to meet. Sanders said he would call when he was “back out there.” Hines assumed this was code that Sanders was out of heroin and would need more.

The final drug buy involving the informant was on Oct. 3, 2017. It was similar to the other two except this time it was at Sanders’ house on 11th Street. When the informant entered the home, there were three men including Sanders and the tall, skinny man. The informant also said Sanders had a gun visible.

Police were able to determine Colin Humphries, Timothy Sanders and Terrance “Huey” Sanders corroborated to purchase 28 grams of heroin and sell it in the Bloomington area. The police were also able to intercept the phone communications of these three men.

They concluded, after the interception of these phones, the dealers had made around 100 heroin deals and the amount of heroin sold in January was far more than 28 grams.

The investigation has led to several arrests and warrants with help from several other law enforcement agencies.

Sanders was taken into police custody on Jan. 22, by an Indiana State Police detective and was sent back to BPD. During interviews with police, Sanders attempted to minimize his involvement in the drug trafficking organization and said he had given up dealing.

He is being charged with conspiracy to deal in a narcotic drug and three counts in dealing a narcotic drug. The latter charge came as a result of the three controlled buys through the confidential informant.

Sanders is currently at Monroe County Correctional Center awaiting a pretrial conference, a meeting where both sides update the court with progress on the case.

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