COLUMBUS, Ohio — An alleged Columbus-area drug trafficker was captured Friday in Indianapolis by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and officers with the Indiana State Police and the Whitestown Police Department.
Oscar Vega-Gomez, 29, formerly of Galloway, Ohio, was arrested in Indianapolis late Friday as he left an area hotel. Vega-Gomez was charged by criminal complaint in May 2014, with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine following a probe by the HSI-led Columbus Bulk Cash Smuggling Task Force. He had eluded arrest for several months using various aliases and addresses in the Midwest to avoid detection.
Subsequent to his arrest, task force officers executed federal search warrants at Vega-Gomez’s Columbus-area residence and two area storage facilities. A search of the Galloway residence uncovered approximately $170,000 within a cutaway section of drywall behind a kitchen dishwasher. In one of the Columbus storage units, investigators found approximately $200,000 in a vehicle that had been modified with a hidden compartment behind its rear seats. Task force officers seized the vehicle for violations of Ohio law which make it illegal to modify vehicles with hidden compartments.
Vega-Gomez had an initial appearance in Indianapolis federal court Friday and was ordered held pending extradition to Columbus.
The Columbus task force is staffed by HSI, ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations, the Columbus Police Department, the Franklin County Sheriff's Department, the Hilliard Police Department and the Ohio State Highway Patrol.