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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Indiana
Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Friday, March 15, 2024

Ringleader of Fentanyl Trafficking Conspiracy Sentenced to Life, Co-Conspirators Sentenced to a Total of More than 100 Years in Federal Prison

INDIANAPOLIS — Keith J. Jones, aka Keybo, 57, of Indianapolis, and Kevin M. Backstrom, 58, of Los Angeles, California, have been sentenced to prison following their 2023 trial convictions for their parts in an Indianapolis fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine trafficking organization.

Jones was sentenced to life in federal prison after a federal jury convicted him of engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, nine substantive drug trafficking counts and two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Backstrom was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after a federal jury convicted him of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments.

According to court documents and evidence introduced at trial, Jones was the leader of a drug trafficking organization that distributed at least 300 pounds of methamphetamine, 20 kilograms of fentanyl and 50 kilograms of cocaine in the Indianapolis area from Sept. 20, 2020, through July 21, 2022. Backstrom was the Los Angeles-based drug supplier for the organization.

The investigation resulted in the indictment and conviction of twenty-two defendants for their roles in the organization’s drug trafficking activity.

Other noteworthy sentences include:




Sean E. Devonish, 46, Indianapolis

Drug trafficking conspiracy

20 years’ imprisonment

Herman Wesley Tavorn, 42, of Indianapolis

fentanyl possession with intent to distribute

25 years’ imprisonment

Jamie L. Rayner, 34, Indianapolis

Drug trafficking conspiracy;

Money laundering conspiracy

15 years’ imprisonment

Marcus N. Miles, 49, Indianapolis

Drug trafficking conspiracy

13 years’ imprisonment

Anthony Moore, 37, of Indianapolis

Drug trafficking conspiracy;

fentanyl possession with intent to distribute;

methamphetamine possession with intent to distribute;

12.5 years’ imprisonment

Nicholas Ray, 33, Indianapolis

Cocaine possession with intent to distribute

135 months’ imprisonment

Steve L. Young, 30, Indianapolis

Drug trafficking conspiracy

125 months’ imprisonment

“Drug overdose deaths touch every Hoosier—our families, our friends, our children. These tragedies are overwhelmingly driven by trafficking of fentanyl and other deadly opioids,” said Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “Fentanyl is concealed in everything from fake pharmaceuticals to rainbow candy-colored pills, and even within other controlled substances like methamphetamine. If you are pushing this poison, take notice that our office is working every day with federal, state and local law enforcement to reduce the supply of these deadly drugs and put you in federal prison, potentially for life.”

“The primary goal of law enforcement is to make our communities safer for all of us,” stated Daryl S. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division. “ATF will continue to work with our partners to take the poison of drugs off the street and end the violent crime that comes with it.”

“Fentanyl and the other dangerous drugs trafficked by these individuals pose a grave threat to public safety,” said Justin Campbell, Special Agent in Charge, IRS:CI Chicago Field Office. “The sentencing of these individuals is evidence of the whole of government approach to safeguarding our communities from the scourge of illicit drugs. Through our collective efforts, IRS Criminal Investigation, along with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, will continue pooling our resources, expertise and intelligence, to disrupt drug trafficking networks at every level—from production to distribution to the financial methods they use to launder their illicit proceeds.”

“DEA remains committed to working each and every day with our state and local partners and utilizing our resources to conduct the highest level of investigations and will continue to dismantle violent drug trafficking organizations. The fentanyl crisis plaguing our communities is real and effects Hoosiers and their families every day,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge J. Michael Gannon. “When individuals like Mr. Jones and Mr. Backstrom deal multi-kilogram quantities of fentanyl, cocaine and multi hundred-pound quantities of methamphetamine, they must be held accountable for their actions. The life sentence of Mr. Jones and the 30-year sentence of Mr. Backstrom should serve as a warning to individuals dealing lethal drugs.”

DEAD, ATF, IRS:CI, Indianapolis Metropolitan Drug Task Force and the Hamilton-Boone County Drug Task Force investigated this case, with valuable assistance provided by FBI, Indiana State Police, the Beech Grove Police Department and the Lawrence Police Department. This case is part of the Indiana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program. 

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S Attorneys Brad Blackington and Kelsey L. Massa, who prosecuted this case.

This case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the U.S. by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks.


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