Seventeen individuals have been federally indicted and 15 of them arrested in what officials described as a “massive law enforcement operation” that resulted in the confiscation of more than 10 pounds of methamphetamine, 23 illegally-possessed firearms and $35,000 in cash.
Several of those 17 were either fully involved with or had ties to the Grim Reapers Motorcycle Club. Three of the arrested individuals are from Owensboro.
U.S. Attorney Josh J. Minkler said the investigation took over six months and involved federal, state and local law enforcement from southwest Indiana and western Kentucky. Search and arrest warrants were served to these individuals on Nov. 19 and Jan. 22.
“Drugs, guns and money have been taken off our streets.,” Minkler said. “Armed drug dealers seeking to infest our cities and our towns with drugs have been taken off the streets. A source of the supply of methamphetamine has been arrested and taken off the streets. The president of the Grim Reaper’s Motorcycle Club, who was dealing drugs, has been taken off the streets. This is good news. This is a big win.”
Minkler specifically referred to Owensboro resident Central Holman, 28, as one of the bigger arrests made as Holman was the source of supply for multiple pounds of meth.
Holman was arrested by the Owensboro Police Department alongside 23-year-old Kendall Powers in late November in the Lake Forest subdivision. The two were charged with two counts of trafficking in meth, trafficking in marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Holman was additionally charged with possession of a handgun by a convicted felon and Powers was additionally charged with assaulting a police officer.
The arrest of Gary Forston, president of the Grim Reapers, was another big win for law enforcement, Minkler said. Forston, 39, of Evansville was described as the leader and organizer of the “conspiracy of this organization with the goal to distribute drugs.”
Prince Moss, 34, of Owensboro was described by Minkler to have distributed a large number of drugs across Indiana and Kentucky.
The press conference, held Thursday in Evansville, became tense as federal and local law enforcement expressed their intentions to seek, find and arrest any and all drug dealers in the area.
“We’re not targeting drug addicts and we’re not going after addicts,” Minkler said. “But if you’re dealing drugs for money, look out, because we are coming after you.”
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Special Agent in Charge J. Michael Gannon commended local, state and law enforcement for their efforts in working together during this investigation, adding that the amount of drugs and weapons taken off the streets would have a huge impact on the community.
“Can you even imagine what the impact would’ve been if that methamphetamine had hit the streets?” he asked. “We’re facing epidemic proportions with methamphetamine being flooded into our communities with the Mexican cartels, such as the CJNG and the Sinaloa cartel.”
Gannon added that law enforcement would continue to track down and arrest “every single one of you that are pushing poison into our community.”
“We’re going to use every resource we can, and we’re going to hold you accountable and put you where you belong, which is in jail.”
Of the 17 individuals indicted by the Evansville Grand Jury, two of them — Jesse and Kimberly Wilson — are still at large and believed to be on the run, Minkler said.
The brother and sister are believed to still be in the U.S., but Minkler couldn’t reveal their suspected location at Thursday’s conference but said anyone with information should call the Department of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms at 1-800-ATFGUNS.
Investigators also said they will continue delving into the illegally-possessed firearms they uncovered to figure out how they were illegally purchased and where they came from.
Each individual will be held in federal custody and attend a trial in federal court.
The names of those charged are:
Central Holman IV, 28, of Owensboro
Gary Wayne Forston, 39, of Evansville
Adam Lafferty, 38, of Evansville
Shane Lewis, 32, of Evansville
James Benton, 66, of Evansville
Brian Eden, 40, of Evansville
Paul Overby, 45, of Evansville
Jesse Wilson, 34, of Evansville
Matthew Meredith, 40, of Evansville
Clarence Grubbs, 48, of Evansville
Daniel Wiscaver, 61, of Winslow
April Martin, 45, of Evansville
Derek Sander, 48, of Evansville
Demoreal Killebrew, 21, of Owensboro
Prince Moss, 34, of Owensboro