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Southside drug bust leads to 50 arrests

By Angela Norris

Local and federal law enforcement officials raided homes and served warrants to suspected drug dealers, which led to the arrest of 50 people from Johnson and Marion counties on April 18.

The drug sweep was part of “Operation Weakest Link,” an undercover sting targeting suspected drug dealers. The suspects, ranging in age from 20 to 62, were selling methamphetamine, cocaine and other narcotics in the Franklin area. Investigators said this raid focused on the dealers, not the users.

Twelve of the suspects are from Indianapolis, 12 from Franklin and six are from Greenwood, including nine people who were arrested at one home on Yandes Street. The “Operation Weakest Link” investigation began last fall. It involved a combined effort from the Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office, sheriff’s office and local law enforcement.

According to Johnson County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Joseph Villaneuva, “Forty-nine of the people arrested in Operation Weakest Link 2019 face charges related to drug-dealing offenses. Thirty-four of them are charged with dealing methamphetamine.”

Police say these people are “peddling the poison,” and there is a sense of urgency to get them off the streets. “Citizens deserve to have safe communities throughout Johnson County,” Chief Kirby Cochran of the Franklin Police Department said.

Last Thursday’s undercover sting comes about six months after 120 drug warrants were served in the largest “drug roundup” in Johnson County history, which involved some of the same suspects.
Police and investigators say they are taking this very seriously and are going to fight this drug battle head on.

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