Arrest leads to federal, drug-related charges

A Columbus resident is facing multiple federal charges related to distribution of methamphetamine as the result of a multi-agency investigation that began earlier this year.

Jose L. Colis-Cerda, 39, of 2229 Fremont Drive, was arrested Aug. 1 on a federal warrant, and Aug. 3 he appeared in the U.S. Southern District Court of Indiana and was charged with four counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. He then was remanded into the custody of the United States Marshals Service, according to a news release.

“Maintaining the safety of our communities in the Southern District of Indiana remains a top priority of this office,” United States Attorney Josh Minkler said in a news release. “When individuals choose to deal dangerous narcotics in our neighborhoods, they can expect the hammer of federal prosecution.”

Colis-Cerda initially was arrested July 27 after the Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team in Bartholomew County worked with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to execute a search warrant at Colis-Cerda’s home about 7:19 a.m.

During the search, the news release said, law enforcement found:

  • About one pound of crystal methamphetamine
  • A small amount of cocaine
  • A small amount of marijuana
  • More than $22,000 in cash
  • Multiple firearms
  • Ammunition

Colis-Cerda was arrested and transported to the Bartholomew County Jail on preliminary charges of:

  • Dealing in methamphetamine
  • Possession of cocaine or narcotic drug
  • Possession of marijuana
  • Maintaining a common nuisance

The Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team (JNET) is a combined unit of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department, the Columbus Police Department and the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s Office. Targeting the manufacturing and abuse drugs in Columbus and Bartholomew County is a focus of JNET.

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Kirk Johannesen is assistant managing editor of The Republic. He can be reached at or (812) 379-5639.