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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Indianapolis Man sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for trafficking fentanyl and meth

INDIANAPOLIS - AUGUST 8, 2023 - Tyler Sanders, 41, of Indianapolis, Indiana, has been sentenced to 183 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl and 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.


According to court documents, in February of 2019, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents became aware of a large drug trafficking operation in Indianapolis that was responsible for transporting drug proceeds to Mexico. On April 5, 2019, HSI agents conducting surveillance of the residence saw Sanders load a Chevrolet Suburban with large, black, plastic trash bags. Sanders left the residence while driving the Suburban.

IMPD officers conducted a traffic stop of the Suburban for speeding along Massachusetts Avenue. Upon obtaining a positive K-9 alert on the vehicle, officers located the black plastic trash bags in the rear of the vehicle. Inside the plastic bags, officers located smaller, plastic bags containing a total of 33.51 kilograms of methamphetamine and 3.98 kilograms of plastic wrapped “bricks” that tested positive for fentanyl. U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers, R. Sean Fitzgerald, Special Agent in Charge, HSI Chicago, Michael Gannon, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Indianapolis Field Office, Indiana State Police Superintendent, Douglas Carter, and IMPD Police Chief, Randal Taylor made the announcement. We know that a majority of the fentanyl and meth plaguing our streets ultimately comes from international cartels operating across the southern border,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers. “Cutting off suppliers who are responsible for selling and transporting drugs from Mexican cartels is a priority of federal law enforcement. We, alongside HSI and DEA, are committed to weeding out these offenders and making an example of their criminal behavior with serious federal prison sentences.” Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration, Indiana State Police, and IMPD investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge, James R. Sweeney II. Judge Sweeney also ordered that Sanders be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 10 years following his release from federal prison and pay a $2,000 fine. U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Peter A. Blackett, who prosecuted this case. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, as little as two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal, depending on a person’s body size, tolerance, and past usage. One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people. 6 out of 10 illegal fentanyl tablets sold on U.S. streets now contain a potentially lethal dose of the drug. One Pill Can Kill: Avoid pills bought on the street because One Pill Can Kill. Fentanyl has now become the leading cause of death in the United States. Fentanyl is a highly potent opioid that drug dealers dilute with cutting agents to make counterfeit prescription pills that appear to be Oxycodone, Percocet, Xanax, and other drugs. Fake prescription pills laced with fentanyl are usually shaped and colored to look like pills sold at pharmacies. For example, fake prescription pills known as “M30s” imitate Oxycodone obtained from a pharmacy, but when sold on the street the pills routinely contain fentanyl. These pills are usually round tablets and often light blue in color, though they may be in different shapes and a rainbow of colors. They often have “M” and “30” imprinted on opposite sides of the pill. Do not take these or any other pills bought on the street – they are routinely fake and poisonous, and you won’t know until it’s too late.

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