Eight charged in large marijuana conspiracy

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Timothy M. Morrison, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, announced that a superseding indictment charging Christian Almaguer, 28, Mission Texas; Roberto Duran, 25, El Couch, Texas; Jacinto Chapa, 30, Pharr, Texas; Reuben Wilson, Sr., 34, Indianapolis, Indiana; Charles Skelton, Jr., 41, of Franklin, Indiana; Milton Brosset, Jr., 40, of Whiteland, Indiana; Dennis Combs, Jr., 39, of Vevay; and John Doe, a/k/a “Hugo S. Pena,” a/k/a Borrado,” a/k/a “Jessie,” with conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute 1,000 kilograms and more of marijuana, and for possessing with intent to distribute 100 kilograms and more of marijuana following an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Cumberland Police Department and Indiana State Police.

The superseding indictment alleges that on April 24th, 2007, approximately 613 kilograms of marijuana was driven to a warehouse in Greenwood, Indiana where it w as received by Dennis Combs, Jr., and Milton Brosset, Jr. Shortly after the marijuana arrived at the warehouse, Charles Skelton, Jr., and John Doe, also arrived at the location.

The superseding indictment also alleges that on November 3rd, 2007, Jacinto Chapa was driving a truck hauling 154 kilograms of marijuana through Hidalgo County, Texas. The truck tractor was registered in the name of Roberto Duran.

Christian Almaguer, Roberto Duran, Jacinto Chapa, and Reuben Wilson, Sr., were originally charged in a criminal complaint on December 15th, 12007. On December 14th, 2007, DEA Task Force personnel conducted surveillance of a residence on North Whitcomb Avenue. Law enforcement followed a white Ford van driven by Reuben Wilson, Sr., from the residence. The van was stopped by IMPD for traffic violations. A search of the van was conducted and 912 pounds of marijuana was confiscated. A search warrant was issued for the residence on North Whitcomb Avenue. Christian Almaguer, Roberto Duran and Jacinto Chapa were inside the residence. Law enforcement recovered 180 pounds of marijuana and approximately $400,000 in cash from the residence.

Dennis Wichern, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, stated, “These seized funds, if forfeited to the government, will be shared back to the participating task force agencies, IMPD, ISP and the Cumberland Police Department. Forfeited currency is often used to purchase equipment such as bulletproof vests and radios, to fund future drug investigations and the funding of drug awareness and demand reduction programs.”

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle P. Jennings, who is prosecuting the case for the government, all defendants face a maximum possible prison sentence of life imprisonment and a maximum possible fine of $4,000,000. Christian Almaguer was scheduled for an initial hearing December 19th, 2007 before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Roberto Duran, Jacinto Chapa and Reuben Wilson, Sr., were arraigned on December 21st, 2007.

The indictment is an allegation only, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial or by guilty plea.