Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Chicago Field Division

09/20/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/20/2019 16:43

Duo Found Guilty of Heroin Conspiracy After 4-Day Trial

SOUTH BEND - Jerry Harris, age 28, of South Bend, Indiana and David Gibson, age 46, of Chicago, Illinois were found guilty, late September 19th, after a four-day jury trial before U.S. District Court Judge Jon DeGuilio, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch.

In March of 2018 Jerry Harris and Gibson were indicted for conspiracy to distribute heroin. The jury deliberated about three hours and found them both guilty of conspiring to distribute over a kilogram of heroin in the South Bend area. In an earlier case (United States v. Corey Harris, et al.), several individuals who sold heroin for Harris and Gibson pled guilty; some have been sentenced and others are awaiting sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Kirsch said, 'I have directed my Office to focus on individuals who distribute heroin and other dangerous opiate narcotics, especially in light of the opioid crisis that exists across the United States. This successful prosecution was the result of cooperative efforts throughout local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. We will aggressively investigate, prosecute and hold accountable those who flood our streets with these drugs to make our communities safer.'

According to evidence presented at trial, Jerry Harris and Gibson conspired with at least six others persons from that earlier case to sell heroin in and around the Miami Hills area of South Bend. The conspirators shared a cellphone that customers called to arrange purchases of heroin. The evidence showed that undercover law enforcement officers purchased heroin from members of the conspiracy on 28 separate occasions between March and October of 2017. Phone records show that the shared cellphones had over 80,000 contacts during the time of the conspiracy. The investigation included search warrants on five houses and cars. Harris and Gibson directed the sales conducted by those who sold heroin to the undercover officers.

Mr. Jerry Harris and Mr. Gibson are scheduled to be sentenced on January 30 of 2020. Both face a minimum of ten years to life incarceration. Gibson was recently convicted of carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime in Wyoming and is currently serving a twelve year sentence.

The case was investigated by the DEA and ATF with assistance from several local police agencies including the St. Joseph County Drug Investigation Unit, Indiana State Police, South Bend Police Department, Mishawaka Police Department, the Elkhart Police and ICE unit, the St. Joseph County Police Department and the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Joel Gabrielse and Molly Donnelly.

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