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November 22, 2012

Second suspect pleads guilty to federal drug charges

Jury trial set for 12 other defendants.

SOUTH BEND — A Kokomo man became the second defendant in a federal drug investigation to plead guilty.

Joseph Gibbs, 34, Kokomo, entered the plea to the charge of conspiracy to distribute marijuana before Magistrate Judge Christopher Nuechterlain and is set to be sentenced on Feb. 22. Nuecheterlain recommended that the district court accept the guilty plea, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Lynn Little, 42, West Lafayette, pleaded guilty on Sept. 13 and is scheduled for sentencing Dec. 20.

They were among 14 defendants indicted in August by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in South Bend. The remaining defendants are scheduled for a jury trial Jan. 29.

All 14 defendants were indicted in August by a grand jury in U.S. District Court in South Bend after being arrested in a drug bust that covered several Indiana counties and crossed the Illinois border. The defendants all face single counts of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and/or marijuana.

The charges stemmed from a Cass County investigation that started in October 2011.

Jose Patlan, 37, Logansport; Guillermo Patlan, 39, Milford, Ill.; Jose Nambo, 32, St. Anne, Ill.; Eric Arnold, 39, Macy; Brock Crowe, 37, Delphi; Christopher Calisto, 40, Twelve Mile; Laef Wade, 51, Logansport; Robert Duff, 50, Delphi; Andres Garcia, 56, Hoopeston, Ill.; Nora Guardiola, 34, Sheldon, Ill; Jeremy Dyer, 30, Iroquios, Ill; and Dale Marshall, 53, Logansport filed motions in early September to postpone the trial from Sept. 18 to Jan. 29.

Court documents state the trial for the 12 defendants will last two or three weeks, and Judge Robert Miller Jr. will preside. Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank E. Schaffer is set to be the prosecutor on the case.

• Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or caitlin.huston@pharostribune.com.

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