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EAST CHICAGO — A 58-year-old man was sentenced Wednesday to 106 months in prison as part of a major federal investigation into a drug trafficking operation.

Jeffrey Sims, of East Chicago, was first arrested in December 2016 and pleaded guilty in June to possession with intent to distribute crack and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, court records show. 

As part of his sentencing terms, Sims must also serve two years of supervised release.  

According to documents filed in this case, the DEA intercepted texts and calls between Sims and his supplier during an investigation into a drug trafficking organization operating out of a social club in the East Chicago's Calumet neighborhood, court records show. 

Police on Sept. 23, 2016, intercepted text messages between Sims and another individual purportedly showing Sims agreeing to buy $450 worth of drugs, court records show.

Twice that day, police said they observed Sims at the person's residence in the 4900 block of Melville Avenue, and text messages and phone calls between the two suggest drug deals had occurred, court records show.

Utilizing code language, Sims would order crack cocaine from his supplier on a regular basis for delivery to customers on behalf of the drug trafficking organization, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Indiana.

Law enforcement approached Sims and arrested him after finding him in possession of crack cocaine and a firearm. 

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration in cooperation with the East Chicago Police Department and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas McGrath.

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Public safety reporter

Lauren covers breaking news, crime and courts for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet covering government, public policy, and the region’s heroin epidemic. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.