HAMMOND- Varnell Dixon, 24, of Gary, Indiana, pled guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch.
In the plea agreement, the parties agreed that the Court should impose the statutory mandatory minimum five year term of imprisonment.
In the plea agreement, Dixon admitted that on December 28, 2019, he was driving a rented vehicle speeding eastbound on Interstate 80/94. At the time, he possessed a fully loaded Glock nine millimeter firearm, four bags of marijuana, some of which he intended to distribute, and $323.00 in small bills. Upon being pursued by the Indiana State Police, Dixon attempted to elude the police at a high rate of speed and ultimately exited onto the Cline Avenue ramp. Dixon lost control of the vehicle, causing it to leave the roadway and roll over several times. Dixon was thrown from the vehicle and arrested by police.
“There have been several high speed pursuits in the recent months that have garnered media attention in Northwest Indiana,” said United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch. “Some of these chases have occurred solely within Indiana and some have crossed state lines. This type of criminal activity – fleeing police and putting many lives at risk while doing so – is entirely intolerable. I have instructed federal law enforcement and my office to charge these type of cases federally, whenever possible, and to seek appropriate sentences for these criminals. We are fortunate in Northwest Indiana to have so many outstanding law enforcement officers and departments. Although many separate municipalities, they all work together for one purpose, to keep crime down in Northern Indiana. We will do everything we can to deter this criminal conduct.”
This case is the result of the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Gang Response Investigative Team and the Indiana State Police. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph A. Cooley.