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Indianapolis Cocaine Trafficker Sentenced to a Decade in Federal Prison

— April 11, 2024

Officers later searched the bags and found them to contain approximately six kilograms of cocaine as well as $71,500 in banded cash.

INDIANAPOLIS – Pierre Burnett III, 27, of Indianapolis, has been sentenced to ten years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.

According to court documents, on July 22, 2021, agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and detectives with the Metro Drug Task Force were conducting surveillance on a known drug house in Indianapolis. At approximately 3:45 p.m., Burnett exited the house with a black trash bag that contained rectangular, brick like objects and drove away in a red Dodge Ram.

At approximately 4:03 p.m., an Indiana State Police attempted to perform a traffic stop of Burnett. Burnett fled at a high rate of speed. After a brief chase northbound along River Road in Indianapolis, Burnett nearly struck multiple vehicles as he sped through intersections and the Trooper discontinued the pursuit.

Burnett drove to River Ridge Apartments in Indianapolis and discarded a black trash bag and orange backpack into nearby bushes. Officers later searched the bags and found them to contain approximately six kilograms of cocaine as well as $71,500 in banded cash.

DEA agents and Indiana State Police Troopers used a K9 officer to locate and arrest Burnett. On his person, the agents located $2,000 in banded cash and three grams of fentanyl in a baggie. Law enforcement officers also seized the red Dodge Ram and searched it, locating a loaded .45 caliber handgun in the driver’s side door.

Cash; image courtesy of Maklay62 via Pixabay,

“The federal prison sentence imposed against this armed drug dealer demonstrates that there will be serious consequences for those who traffic in deadly drugs with utter disregard for human life,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers. “Our federal prosecutors are committed to working closely with the DEA, Metro Drug Task Force, and Indiana State Police to take dealers off our streets because these poisons are ravaging our communities and loved ones.”

“The Indiana State Police will continue to engage with, and provide the necessary resources to its federal, county and local law enforcement partners in an effort to not only keep these dangerous and potentially deadly drugs out of our communities, but to also hold those responsible for transporting and trafficking them into those communities,” said Captain Ron Galaviz.

“The DEA remains committed to working hand in hand with our state and local partners to make our communities a safer place. Individuals like Mr. Burnett who are distributing multi-kilogram quantities of cocaine into our communities must be held accountable their actions,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge J. Michael Gannon.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, Metro Drug Task Force, and Indiana State Police conducted this investigation together. This collaborative effort was essential to the outcome of the investigation.  The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Matthew P. Brookman. Judge Brookman also ordered that Burnett be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for five years following his release from federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Jayson W. McGrath, who prosecuted this case.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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