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Michael Fabini drug-trafficking trial set for April 30

Friday, March 8, 2013 - 10:45 am

A jury will begin hearing the government's case against Michael Fabini, a Fort Wayne man charged with a litany of drug trafficking and money laundering crimes, on April 30 unless he pleads guilty.

Fabini, who entered an initial plea of not guilty Tuesday on 44 charges, is scheduled for a two-week trial starting April 30, according to U.S. District Court records. He has a deadline of April 16 if he wishes to plead guilty.

Federal investigators say Fabini – described by his attorney as a committed family man – led a double life as part of a drug-trafficking ring from at least Sept. 21, 2007, to last Dec. 6, when agents raided his home and several other Allen County properties.

Authorities have also allegedly linked Fabini to a "stash house" in Harlan, where the Allen County Sheriff's Department in 2008 conducted what is believed to be the biggest seizure of illegal drugs in local history.

In the 2008 raid, police seized nearly 7,000 pounds of marijuana worth at least $6 million; a loaded AK-47-style rifle with two extra 30-round clips; two handguns; and $1.1 million in cash.

A grand jury released a 44-count indictment against Fabini last week. If convicted, he faces 10 years to life in prison, prosecutors have said.

Another man, Marshall Butler, also was named in three counts of the indictment and entered an initial plea of not guilty. Both men are in the custody of U.S. Marshals.