17 indicted in “Operation Reapin Benefits”


EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Seventeen people face federal charges, some of whom are associated with the grim reaper motorcycle club in Evansville.

The US Attorney says the 17 people indicted were operating a drug trafficking organization.

Officials say they are cracking down on drug offenders.

“We are going to identify every single one of you that are pushing poison into our community. We are going to use every resource we can and we’re going to hold you accountable and put you where you belong … In jail,” says DEA Assistant Special Agent Mike Gannon.

Conspiracy, distribution of methamphetamine, and multiple firearm allegations are just a few of the charges 17 people face in connection to a six month federal and local investigation.

The operation is referred to as Operation Reapin Benefits.

Search warrants were executed back in November at the grim reaper motorcycle clubhouse in Evansville and at several other locations around the region, including Owensboro.

Authorities say they seized more than ten pounds of methamphetamine, 23 firearms, and 35 thousand dollars in cash.

“Because of the work of your federal state and local law enforcement officers the streets of this town, of this community, of this section of our state are safer today than they were before,” says US Attorney Josh Minkler.

Grim Reaper president Gary Forston, one of the alleged ringleaders of the operation, was arrested shortly after the November raid.

Since then others have been arrested as well.

“They need to be incarcerated for a long time because most of these people do not go to prison on the premise that they’re going to be rehabilitated and come out and start trimming roses upon release. Their main goal in life is to continue a path of crime and to wreak havoc on the communities that we live,” says Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding.

“Let me make it clear. My goal and the goal of all of these gentlemen here is to make this area of the country the most inhospitable spot in the country to sell drugs.”

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(This story was originally published on Feb. 6 2020)

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Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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