Gary man wanted for role in interstate drug ring
BY Teresa Auch Schultz firstname.lastname@example.org September 28, 2012 4:26PM
Updated: October 30, 2012 6:08AM
A Gary man is considered a fugitive in a multistate drug ring case after he was caught with almost 24 pounds of marijuana.
Robert “White Bob” Blankenship, 39, is being charged with one count of possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it. He is one of 40 defendants listed in a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Chicago focusing on two drug-trafficking organizations that operated on the southwest side of Chicago.
The case, which was investigated by numerous federal and Illinois agencies, spent the past year watching the two groups as they bought and sold at least 15 kilograms of cocaine, 1.5 kilograms of heroin and 10 kilograms of marijuana, most of which appears to have come from Blankenship. Although most of the defendants are from Chicago, the rings also stretched to California and Texas, along with Northwest Indiana.
The complaint says that Blankenship was a customer of the drug ring operated by Jesus Ramirez-Padilla, 39, of Chicago. Federal officials watched on June 19 as he left the house known to be associated with Ramirez-Padilla’s organization. They discovered 23.9 pounds of pot on him, according to the complaint.
Blankenship is now listed as a fugitive, however, by the FBI.