Authorities round up drug dealing suspectsSeptember 16, 2019
From Local Sources
A drug sweep announced Monday is the fourth such operation of its kind in Dubois County in recent years.
“I would say that our drug problem is staying constant, but we definitely are seeing a lot more overdoses lately,” says Chief Deputy Prosecutor Beth E. Sermersheim.
Dubois County law enforcement officers were serving drug dealing warrants Monday for offenses originating as far back as August 2018.
Local warrant roundups of drug dealers began in 2014 with Operation Big Brother. That was followed in 2015 by Operation Double Trouble and by Operation Triple Threat in 2016.
Since that time, Sermersheim says, Dubois County’s cadre of narcotics officers has grown. Dubois County Sheriff’s Office Deputy John Anderson began acting as a narcotics officer in 2012. In Spring 2018, he was joined by a Jasper Police Department narcotics detective and Huntingburg Police Department Narcotics Officer Rusty Drew.
Those officers have been serving warrants here and there in cases they have jointly investigated. Authorities recently developed a big group of drug dealing warrants, which prompted the current, as-yet unnamed operation.
“It was somewhat anti-climactic for us because a lot of them ended up already being in jail,” Sermersheim says.
In total, according to authorities, 15 individuals are facing drug dealing charges in conjunction with this week’s warrant service. Four of those people were already incarcerated in the Dubois County Security Center. Six additional individuals were booked Monday on the new, active warrants.
Authorities say that, beginning last summer, Anderson began conducting undercover drug buys for the latest drug dealing warrant services and was joined in his efforts by the other narcotics officers.
As has been done in the past, the three local narcotics detectives used confidential informants to facilitate undercover drug buys of methamphetamine, LSD, marijuana, heroin, and other opiate-derivative drugs. The primary drug purchased was methamphetamine.
Sermersheim says the drug purchases are led by supply and demand; meaning the deciding factor in what drugs are purchased is what is available in the area at the time of a buy. As a result of recent covert investigations, felony arrest warrants for drug dealing charges were obtained by the Dubois County Prosecutor’s Office for this week’s roundup.
The warrant service continues to be ongoing at this time, with additional arrests expected in the coming days.
Individuals served with arrest warrants thus far are:
Kelly J. Birkle, 47, Velpen, charged with a Level 4 felony count of dealing methamphetamine.
Robert S. Sowders, 42, Huntingburg, charged with two Level 2 felony and one Level 3 felony counts of dealing methamphetamine.
Christy E. Miller, 42, Huntingburg, charged with a Level 5 felony count of dealing methamphetamine.
Jessica J. Fulkerson, 25, Huntingburg, charged with a Level 4 felony count of dealing methamphetamine.
Lindsay D. Austin, 23, Jasper, charged with a Level 2 felony count of dealing in a narcotic drug (morphine).
Fredrick S. Moon Jr., 26, Jasper, charged with a Level 2 felony count of dealing in a narcotic drug (morphine).
Brandon S. Bullock, 34, Jasper, charged with a Level 4 felony count of dealing methamphetamine.
Michael E. Norris, 36, Jasper, charged with a Level 5 felony count of dealing methamphetamine and a Level 6 felony count of dealing marijuana.
Nick M. Kreilein, 43, Huntingburg, charged with a Level 4 felony count of dealing in a narcotic drug.
Ira J. Peters, 29, Jasper, charged with two felony counts of dealing methamphetamine (one Level 3 and one Level 4).
Amanda S. Peters, 33, Jasper, charged with a Level 3 felony count of aiding in dealing methamphetamine.
Brandon T. Jones, 31, Huntingburg, charged with two felony counts of dealing in a Schedule I Controlled Substance (LSD), (one Level 5 felony and one Level 6 felony).
Talicia E. Reynolds, 30, Jasper, charged with a Level 3 felony count of dealing in a narcotic drug.
Devon N. Morton, 28, Eckerty, (no photo available) charged with a Level 4 felony count of dealing methamphetamine.
The fact that a person has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty, according to the prosecutor’s office.
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