Firearms and Drug Trafficking Ring Indicted
HAMMOND – U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch announces the return of a 14 count indictment that includes charges on conspiracy to straw purchase firearms, distribution of methamphetamine and cocaine and the possession of firearms by felons.
According to documents in this case, Aaron Baxter, 30, of Michigan City, Indiana; Joseph Taylor, 34, of Gary, Indiana; and Susanne Tincher, 36, of Michigan City, Indiana, are all charged with a conspiracy to purchase firearms from a federal firearms licensee through misrepresentation. In this case Suzanne Tincher made at least four firearm purchases during the conspiracy knowing that she was purchasing the firearms for persons who could not purchase the firearms themselves. The indictment also includes one alleged straw purchase where, on the same day that Tincher purchased firearms from a store, Taylor, a convicted felon, sold 2 of those firearms to undercover officers under the direction of Baxter.
The indictment alleges that Baxter and Taylor were also dealing in highly pure methamphetamine and that Taylor was dealing in cocaine. In the indictment both Taylor and Baxter face additional counts of being felons in possession of firearms.
The United States Attorney’s Office emphasized that an indictment is merely an allegation and that all persons charged are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
If convicted in court, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms with assistance from the Michigan City Police Department and the LaPorte County Prosecutors Office. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas M. McGrath.
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