SOUTH BEND – Jerry Harris, age 39, of South Bend, Indiana, was sentenced by United States District Court Chief Judge Jon E. DeGuilio after being found guilty of conspiracy to distribute heroin, announced United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.
Mr. Harris was sentenced to 262 months in prison followed by 10 years of supervised release.
According to evidence presented at trial, Jerry Harris conspired with at least 10 other persons to sell heroin in South Bend. The conspirators used shared cellphones that customers called to arrange to purchase heroin. Undercover law enforcement officers purchased heroin from members of the conspiracy on numerous occasions during a months-long investigation in 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 directed the sales conducted by those who sold heroin to the undercover officers. Harris was the second-highest ranking member of this organization and functioned as the “right-hand man” to his trial co-defendant David Gibson. Both were convicted at trial in September 2019 and Mr. Gibson was sentenced to 20 years in prison in January 2020.
“I am pleased with the hard work of the committed prosecutors and law enforcement officers that brought this case to a successful resolution,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II. “This cooperative effort shows that to make our communities safer, we will aggressively investigate, prosecute and hold accountable those who flood our streets with illegal drugs.”
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the St. Joseph County Drug Investigations Unit, with the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other law enforcement agencies. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Molly Donnelly and Joel Gabrielse.