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Woman admits role in marijuana ring

A young woman accused of being part of a marijuana distribution ring pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court this week, admitting she was a minor player in the scheme.

Natalie Catalan, who was 21 at the time of her arrest last April, admitted to conspiring to distribute marijuana. She could face more than five years in prison, according to court documents.

Catalan, Christine Hagan of Fort Wayne and Whitney Sparkman of Mentone were indicted in April, accused along with Jonathan Aramburo of Warsaw and Ryan Lasuer of Winona Lake.

The group is accused of conspiring to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana between January 2010 and February 2011, according to court documents.

Aramburo and Lasuer were indicted in late March after an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Aramburo was arrested in late February in Whitley County driving a U-Haul truck. Aramburo was moving from Fort Wayne to Warsaw, and police pulled the truck over.

Inside the truck, according to court documents, investigators found a loaded handgun and six large bags of marijuana, each weighing about six pounds. They also found a drug ledger, according to court documents.

rgreen@jg.net

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