FORT WAYNE — An Angola woman was sentenced to 16 1/2 years in prison Thursday in federal court for dealing methamphetamine.
Lauren R. Grant, 36, pleaded guilty to distributing more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. In her plea agreement, she admitted to being involved in the distribution of 1.5 kilograms to 4.5 kilograms of meth, said a news release from U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch II.
Grant was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Holly A. Brady in the Northern District Court of Indiana, Fort Wayne. Along with 200 months incarceration, Grant will be on supervised release for five years.
“Keeping dangerous drugs off the streets helps reduce violence,” said Kirsch. “We work in coordination with DEA and other law enforcement agencies to continue to fight drug distribution through enforcement.”
Grant was pulled over by DEA agent Howard Schneider for a traffic violation on Oct. 1, 2019 as she was driving through Fort Wayne, say court documents. Schneider’s K9 Brix conducted a “free-air sniff” that resulted in a “positive alert,” say court documents. The resulting search revealed a scale for weighing drugs, 146 grams of meth, LSD and marijuana.
“Grant said that she was from Angola, Indiana, and had bought and sold drugs for approximately three years,” says the probable cause affidavit. “Grant considered herself a large-scale crystal methamphetamine dealer in northeast Indiana capable of distributing ounces and pounds of crystal methamphetamine.”
She has admitted that August through October 2019, she supplied multiple ounces of methamphetamine to Aric Starnes, a co-defendant in the case, and others. Starnes, 47, of Fort Wayne, was sentenced last week to just under 11 years in prison.
The Steuben County court records show a number of meth-related cases concerning Grant, including a 2014 conviction for possession of meth in which she was sentenced to eight years with four years suspended. She served some of the sentence in Steuben County Jail prior to her sentencing and did the rest of the time on home detention.
When she was arrested last year in Fort Wayne, she was on bail from a Sept. 9, 2019 arrest in Kalamazoo County, Michigan; she was charged with carrying a concealed weapon.
“The over 16-year sentence of Ms. Grant was just and necessary for the fine citizens of Fort Wayne and our surrounding communities. Individuals like Ms. Grant must be held accountable for their actions,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Gannon. “The DEA Fort Wayne Post of Duty is committed to working with the Allen County Drug Task Force and our other federal, state, and local partners to investigate and arrest drug traffickers and keep our communities safe. The DEA appreciates the exceptional work, by all involved, to bring Ms. Grant to justice.”
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration with the assistance of the Indiana State Police, the Allen County Drug Task Force, the Allen County Sheriff’s Department. This case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony W. Geller.