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21 indicted in alleged dogfighting, drug dealing ring

Dogfighting, drug rings had connection to Sinaloa Cartel

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A federal grand jury has indicted 21 people on charges in connection to dogfighting and a drug ring in Indianapolis.

The indictments stemmed from an FBI raid a week ago where federal agents executed search warrants at 25 homes in the Indianapolis area. The indictment alleged the dogfighting ring lasted from December 2020 to Aug. 31, 2023, the day of the FBI raids.

Ten of the 21 people indicted were charged with conspiracy to engage in an animal fighting venture, or dogfighting. 18 of the 21 people have been arrested, 2 have been identified, and one is believed to be in Mexico.

Court documents revealed that Ramiro Rico De Leon, Gregory Henderson Jr., Octavio Vicencio, Erick Foster, George Taylor, JC Smith, Dontoria Gilbert, David Bennett, Gregory Easter, Laurent Eggert, and Quoshawn Stewart were engaging in a conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, including methamphemine, fentanyl, and cocaine.

Ohio State Police arrested George Taylor on August 1 for possession of controlled substances after conducting a traffic stop on Interstate 70 East, and locating several bags of controlled substances and crack pipes in his vehicle. Taylor was observed leaving Henderson’s apartment earlier in the day before being stopped by police.

According to court documents, Taylor was transporting a drug shipment (half a kilogram of fentanyl) to Foster and Henderson in Winchester, Ohio, before he was arrested. Half of the kilogram of fentanyl was retained by Henderson. The fentanyl was intended for Foster.

Court documents revealed Henderson kept controlled substances in his own apartment and some in JC Smith’s apartment.

Ramiro Rico De Leon is currently located in Mexico and is Henderson’s primary supplier. De Leon and Henderson primarily communicated through WhatsApp dating back to November. Court documents also revealed that Henderson was possibly wire transferring money to drug organizations in Sinaloa, Aguascalientes, and Mexico City, Mexico.

Beginning in October, the U.S Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General began investigating the dogfighting ring in Indianapolis after Bronaugh was arrested for a traffic violation in Mississippi. According to court documents, Officials searched Bronaugh’s van and found a felony amount of marijuana and 11 pit bulls of various ages and conditions.

Court documents also alleged the dogs were transported from out of state to come and fight in Indianapolis. It is not mentioned how many dogs were involved in the ring, or how many were killed or injured during the ring’s operation.

Court documents allege that between November 2022 and Aug. 25, 2023, Ramiro Rico De Leon, Gregory Henderson Jr., Octavio Vicencio, Erick Foster, George Taylor, JC Smith, Dontoria Gilbert, David Bennett, Gregory Easter, Lauren Eggert, and Quoshawn Stewart distributed 400 grams of fentanyl, 500 grams of methamphetamine, and 5 kilograms of cocaine.

Two of the defendants are also facing changes of money laundering.

Court documents allege Gregory Henderson Jr., Christopher Norfolk, Maurice Ervin, Michael Sanders, James Croons, Charles Richardson lll, Landon Jones, Edward Bronaugh, Donovan Tipler, and Marvin Johnson Jr. engaged in a conspiracy to engage in an animal fight venture.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana in Indianapolis held a press conference Thursday morning to give more details about the indictment and investigation.

The full indictment can be viewed in this document.