Fourteen Kent County residents, including one from Smyrna, were indicted last week by a federal grand jury on multiple drug and animal fighting charges.
United States Attorney Charles M. Oberly, III, announced Thursday that a federal grand jury last week returned two superseding indictments charging a total of fourteen men with various violations of federal law. The first indictment contains twenty-three counts and alleged conduct that includes conspiracy to distribute cocaine, distribution of cocaine, possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, and possession of firearms by prohibited persons. The second indictment contains charges relating to the sponsoring of animals in dogfighting ventures.
The charged defendants are Edward Sturgis, 38, of Dover; Leshawn Ingram, 28, of Smyrna; Christopher Glover, 40, of Dover; Robert Ingram, 30, of Dover; James Wilson, 49, of Magnolia; Terah Moore, 36, of Dover; Keith Adkins, 36, of Dover; William Chapman, 42, of Dover; Deshawn Groce, 39, of Dover; Tyshi Hazzard, 36, of Rehoboth Beach; Dwyane Dixon, 46, of Dover; Jamar Cannon, 31, of Dover; Corey Curtis, 38, of New Castle; and Aaron Cannon, 27, of Hartly.
Oberly said the drug indictment alleges that between January 2014 and March 2014, in Delaware, defendants Strugis, Leshawn Ingram, Glover, Robert Ingram, Wilson, and Curtis conspired to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute. The drug indictment also alleges that, on various dates, defendants Sturgis, Leshawn Ingram, Glover, Robert Ingram, Wilson, Moore, Adkins, Dixon, Jamar Cannon, Corey Curtis, and Aaron Cannon engaged in the distribution of cocaine and/or the possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute it in Delaware.
If convicted of any of the conspiracy, distribution or the possession counts, the charged defendants face up to 20 years imprisonment in addition to fines, and supervised release. Defendants Strugis, Leshawn Ingram, Glover, Robert Ingram, Wilson, and Curtis also face a mandatory minimum sentence of at least five years of imprisonment, and up to forty years in prison, in addition to fines, and supervised release for their alleged conduct, Oberly said.
The dog-fighting indictment alleges that between the dates of January 17, 2014 through February 19, 2014, defendants Sturgis, Robert Ingram, Chapman, Hazzard, and Groce, engaged in a conspiracy and two substantive offenses alleging violations of the federal dog-fighting statute, Oberly said. If convicted of any of these offenses, the charged defendants could face up to five years imprisonment, in addition to fines and supervised release.
The indictments and arrests of these individuals were the product of a long-term investigation, led by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Dover Police Department that culminated in the execution of eighteen search warrants, and the seizures of several firearms and controlled substances. Oberly said critical support for the investigation and arrests was also provided by the Drug Enforcement Agency, United States Marshals Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Delaware State Police, Delaware Department of Corrections, Smyrna Police Department, Milford Police Department, New Castle County Police Department, and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (“ASPCA”).
Acting ATF Special Agent in Charge William P. McMullan said he is confident that the execution of multiple arrest and search warrants by ATF and its law enforcement partners has made a significant impact on crime in Delaware, and specifically in the city of Dover.
"ATF continues to work complex investigations with its federal, state and local law enforcement partners in Delaware in order to bring violent criminals to justice," McMullan said.
“The victims of dog fighting suffer horrific abuse, forced to fight for their lives at the hands of their owners,” said Tim Rickey, vice president, ASPCA Field Investigations & Response. “We commend the local and federal authorities for pursuing this case and are proud to work with them to put an end to this violent crime.”
The charges in the Indictments are only allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark M. Lee.