Suspect claims he was courier

The Greenwood man arrested after police raided a hotel room this week told investigators he was paid to transport drugs and cash.

When police raided Dewayne Lewis’ hotel room, they found 19 bricks of cocaine — each measured out to be about 2 pounds — and a large amount of cash, some of which was packaged and some loose in a bag, according to court documents.

Lewis, 40, told police he worked for a drug trafficking group out of Fort Wayne and had recently picked up the drugs and cash in northeast Indiana and brought them back to the hotel room in Greenwood, court records said.

Lewis, 1115 Thornwood Drive, now could face federal drug trafficking charges. He was arrested after police searched his room Tuesday at Red Roof Inn on Sheek Road in Greenwood.

He was scheduled to appear in the U.S. District Court Northern Indiana District in Fort Wayne on Friday and will have an indictment hearing before a grand jury, U.S. Department of Justice spokesman Ryan Holmes said.

Lewis could be charged with a federal offense of distributing more than 5 kilograms of cocaine. The penalty for that type of charge is 10 years in prison to life.

Federal prosecutors took over the case, so Lewis will not face felony charges in Johnson County, Prosecutor Brad Cooper said.

The Greenwood Police Department and Indiana State Police were conducting a joint investigation that led to the arrest, officials said this week. Police haven’t said why they began investigating Lewis or how they knew he would be in Greenwood.

The Greenwood Police Department is not commenting because the case has been passed on to federal authorities, Assistant Police Chief Matt Fillenwarth said.

A search warrant filed in Greenwood City Court also is sealed and had not been released as of Friday afternoon. But a complaint was filed in U.S. District Court Northern Indiana District.

On Tuesday, police were monitoring the hotel when they saw a woman bring a large bag to Lewis’ room. When she left, police knocked on the door, but Lewis didn’t answer, according to court records.

A police dog was brought in and smelled the scent of narcotics when it came to Lewis’ door. Police got a search warrant and raided the room.

After being arrested, Lewis told FBI investigators that he was paid by a drug trafficking group to transport cocaine and drug proceeds, according to court documents. On Sunday evening, he went to a home in DeKalb County in northeast Indiana to pick up the bricks of cocaine and cash from a pole barn, and bring them back to the hotel, according to the documents.

Police seized a large amount of money in the raid, which was being counted earlier this week. Fillenwarth declined to comment about how much money had been seized.

If Lewis is convicted, Cooper said, he expects that all of the cash will be forfeited and split among the agencies that took part in the drug bust. Police departments and the prosecutor’s office use that money to pay for training or equipment. For example, Greenwood police used forfeiture money to purchase all of the body cameras officers use.