Federal Grand Jury in FW Returns Indictments in Large Scale Cocaine Distribution Network


FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Tuesday afternoon, the United States Attorney's Office announced two indictments charging six people in what is alleged to be the largest cocaine distribution network in the Fort Wayne area.

The indictments were part of a massive effort that included the Fort Wayne Police Department, state agencies and federal agencies along with investigators from around the region. During the bust, law enforcement executed 17 federal searches in Indiana, Ohio and Texas.  In addition, the DeKalb County and Johnson County Prosecutor’s offices obtained two state search warrants. All of these searches resulted in the seizure of more than 100 kilograms of cocaine, over $5.9 million in U.S. currency, and 21 firearms and 12 vehicles.

Charged with conspiracy to deliver more than 5 kilograms of cocaine were:

37-year-old Allan Bates, of Fort Wayne, Indiana

66-year-old James Lepper, of Butler, Indiana

63-year-old Larry Norton, of Mission Texas, formerly of Fort Wayne,

52-year-old Eric White, of Fort Wayne, Indiana

35-year-old Ryan Bowman, of Payne, Ohio

Charged in a separate indictment with possession with intent to deliver over 5 kilograms of cocaine is 40-year-old DeWayne Lewis, of Greenwood, Indiana.

All defendants are in custody and are being held without bond.