Elkhart cocaine ring, mayoral back-and-forth, sex offender registry case kept me busy

Feds arrested Aurelio Cervantes, upper left-hand corner, for his alleged involvement in a cocaine ring. Zach Anderson, right in the upper right-hand corner picture, got leniency in his criminal sexual conduct cast. Charges flew in the Elkhart mayoral race, some in TV ads, like the one in the picture at the bottom. Cervantes photo from the St. Joseph County Jail, the others by Tim Vandenack

Feds arrested Aurelio Cervantes, upper left-hand corner, for his alleged involvement in a cocaine ring. Zach Anderson, right in the upper right-hand corner picture, got leniency in his criminal sexual conduct cast. Charges flew in the Elkhart mayoral race, some in TV ads, like the one in the picture at the bottom. Cervantes photo from the St. Joseph County Jail, the others by Tim Vandenack

Saturday Oct. 24, 2015

I dug into the arrest of the co-owner of a local grocery store for his alleged involvement in an Elkhart-Colombus, Ohio, cocaine ring.

I attended the re-sentencing of a young man from Elkhart who had been placed on the Michigan sex-offender registry for his involvement with a girl who said she was 17, though she was actually only 14. It’s a case that’s garnerned international attention.

I followed up on some of the charges flying in the heated mayoral race in Elkhart and attended the fifth forum in the contest, live tweeting it. The two candidates repeated much of what they said in the other gatherings.

It was a busy week, as always.

The cocaine ring story was perhaps the most unexpected and fortuitous story. No press releases here. I received a tip that something had happened at the grocery store, that numerous law enforcement officials had converged on the locale and closed it. I got sketchy info about a federal search warrant having been served there. The next day, I searched federal court records, happening upon an indictment for a person with the same name as the store’s owner. Bingo!

  • Look here for the initial story on the closing of the grocery store. And here’s the followup after I discovered the federal indictment against the store owner and five others.
  • Here’s the story on the re-sentencing of Zach Anderson.
  • Here’s from the press gathering GOP mayoral hopeful Tim Neese called to refute criticism from Mayor Dick Moore. Here’s from their forum two days later.
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