LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The sun hadn't come up yet when investigators got to Bennito Rodriguez's Scottsburg home. We were there as the 38-year-old and his girlfriend were taken out in handcuffs. His house and nearby business were then searched.

Local officials say Rodriguez is the biggest drug dealer in the county and part of a major criminal network. An investigation spanning three states has led to the indictments of 10 people and six were taken into custody in Scott County alone.

"I can tell you that this organization has been dismantled," U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler said.

That organization is accused of funneling drugs into Scott County, which has become ground zero for an HIV outbreak in southern Indiana connected to the use of dirty needles.

About $34,000, 12 guns and lots of drugs were seized during raids conducted Friday morning.

Suspected drug suppliers were arrested in Scott County, Indianapolis, Louisville and Detroit. They're all facing federal drug charges.

"We are sick and tired of drug dealers, we are sick and tired of burying our children and we are sick and tired of our broken families," Indiana State Police Sgt. Jerry Goodin said.

Officials say the group mostly provided meth and Opana, which is the drug largely tied to the HIV epidemic in the southern Indiana community.

Health officials say addicts were sharing needles to inject the powerful painkiller and we're told the ensuing health crisis sparked this investigation that started last June.

"These are people that saw a demand, sought to infest a community, did so and made money off of it," Minkler said.

Several agencies took part in Friday's round up, including the sheriff's department, State Police, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Alcohol, Tabacco, Firearms and Explosives officials.

Officials say a substantial amount of Opana has now been cut off from the community.

"If you're thinking about filling that void right now, I would think twice because we will find you and we will put you in jail also," Scott County Sheriff McClain said.

They also say it'll take more than just arrests to solve the problem.

"Other steps have to be taken, we have to focus as well on prevention, education and treatment or other suppliers will fill the demand," Minkler added.

Officials say this investigation is on-going.

These suspects have been arrested and charged in connection to the investigation:

  • Bennito "Benny" Rodriguez, 38, Scottsburg, Ind.
  • Brooklynn Mack, 29, Scottsburg, Ind. 
  • Rashawn "Ray" Vaughn, 41, Louisville, Ky. 
  • Eric Gude, 36, Indianapolis
  • Rashaan "Phil" Perkins, Detroit, Mich. 
  • Anthony Hardy, 39, Indianapolis
  • James Haney, 56, Austin, Ind. 
  • Justin "Booger" Roberts, 38, Austin, Ind. 
  • Travis Brock, 34, Scottsburg, Ind.
  • Michael Doyle, 38, Scottsburg, Ind.

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