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BARTHOLOMEW CO., Ind. — The largest drug bust in Bartholomew County history.

On Wednesday morning, Acting U.S. Attorney John E. Childress announced the end of a drug trafficking organization responsible for selling large amounts of illegal drugs in Columbus.

DEA Agent Mike Gannon says almost 60 people were arrested during their two-year-plus investigation. Thirty-six of those people have been indicted by a grad jury on various federal charges.

“When you look at the methamphetamine that was seized almost 115 pounds of methamphetamine,” said Gannon. “If you look at the community in Columbus there’s probably 51,000 people for population. The methamphetamine that we seized in this investigation would have been enough to provide a dosage unit for every citizen in Columbus.”

He said they also seized around four pounds of fentanyl and heroin, 28 pounds of marijuana, and around 150 guns.

“Those were firearms that were in the wrong hands, and they were the hands of drug dealers and we took those off the street.”

The investigation started in 2018, when federal agents and officers assigned to the Bartholomew county Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team initiated “Operation Columbus Day.”

They identified members of a Mexican-based drug trafficking organization who were sending large amounts of drugs to Columbus and Seymour. The main family involved was the Chavez family. Childress said multiple family members and their close associates used a variety of methods to traffic drugs