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Drug bust nets 30-plus arrests

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Most offenses related to illegal use of prescription meds

In a multi-agency operation, more than 30 people in Posey County are being charged with dealing various drugs after an early morning raid that stemmed from a 12-month investigation.
On Friday, Oct. 19, 95 enforcement agents were briefed and given orders to execute the 30-plus warrants, mostly in Mount Vernon.
According to Posey County Narcotics Unit Director Kenny Rose, many of the alleged offenses were related to illegal use of prescription medications, and some charges related to methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.
The raid, dubbed "Operation: Fair Warning," began with a briefing at 4:30 a.m., Friday.
In addition to Posey County and Mount Vernon law enforcement, units from New Harmony and the Indiana State Police, as well as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms Agency and Evansville Police Department assisted with the raid.
According to a press release from the Posey County Drug Task Force, covert investigations began for the recent raid two weeks prior to last year's raid, Operation: Heat Wave.
During the investigations, narcotics officers were able to develop cases involving the sale of meth, marijuana, schedule II and IV controlled substances, including hydrocodone, clonazepam, and look-a-like substances, along with investigations regarding the manufacturing of meth, maintaining a common nuisance and neglect of a dependent.
Mount Vernon Police Chief Grant Beloat said during a press conference held after the raid, that the name of the operation, coined "Fair Warning" was an appropriate follow-up to last year's raid, "Heat Wave."
People were given fair warning that the crackdown on illegal drug use in Mount Vernon and Posey County was just the beginning.
"We're not going to put up with this in our communities anymore," Beloat said.
Posey County Sheriff Greg Oeth said last year's raid focused on meth offenses. However, due to the changes in the meth-making process, it has become more urban, and fewer meth labs are found in rural areas. Police are also not finding remnants of meth labs in the woods like they used to, he added.
During the multi-agency sting, police did discover an active meth lab.
Most of those arrested were found in Mount Vernon, said Rose, but one person was tracked down in Louisiana and will be waived extradition to Posey County. Some were also apprehended in Vanderburgh County.
Along with the bust, two juveniles were arrested and one man, Eric Loehr, was arrested on a warrant that was unrelated to the drug raid operation.
According to Posey County Prosecutor Travis Clowers, one of the juveniles being charged has turned currently 18 but was 17 when the alleged crime was committed. Clowers said prosecutors are pushing to get the two cases moved to adult court.
All agencies involved in the bust include: Posey County Drug Task Force; Posey County Sheriff's Department; Mount Vernon Police Department; Indiana State Police, including SWAT; FBI; ATF; Indiana Conservation officers; New Harmony Police Department; Evansville Police Department; Warrick County Sheriff's Department; and Indiana Excise. Agencies providing logistical support included Indiana Child Protective Services, Posey County EMS and Black Township Fire.
Clowers and Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jonathan Parkhurst commended officers who worked on the cases, saying that many of the suspects had been "couch-hopping" from place to place. Narcotics units were able to track them and know their location the morning of the sting.

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Those arrested and charged as a result of Friday morning’s bust are as follows:
• Tonya Ricketts, 46, Mount Vernon, two counts: dealing look-a-like substance, C felony
• Stephen M. Miller, 39, Mount Vernon, dealing marijuana, C felony; dealing schedule II substance, A felony.
• William E. Mayville, 41, Mount Vernon, dealing in schedule IV controlled substance, B felony.
• Chad R. Marchand, 25, Mount Vernon, two counts, dealing in meth, A felonies.
• Rachel Osborne, 31, Mount Vernon, two counts, dealing schedule II controlled substance, A felonies; and maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Jeremy A. Quinn, 32, Mount Vernon, two counts of dealing meth, A felonies; and dealing marijuana, C felonies.
• Austin M. Kursturin, 19, Mount Vernon, dealing in schedule II controlled substance, B felony.
• Buddy P. Snelling, 37, Mount Vernon, dealing in controlled substance, A felony; and maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Melissa D. Anderson Porter, 36, Mount Vernon, two counts of dealing Schedule II controlled substance, A felonies.
• Sierra N. Burton, 28, Mount Vernon, two counts in dealing Schedule II controlled substance, A felonies.
• Vitula I. Wilkerson, 58, Mount Vernon, dealing in a Schedule II controlled substance, A felony.
• Antjuan D. Rollins, Mount Vernon, dealing marijuana, C felony; neglect of a dependent, D felony; and maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Christopher J. Trafford, 19, Mount Vernon, two counts of dealing meth, A felonies.
• Adam L. Stewart, 39, Mount Vernon, dealing Schedule IV controlled substance, B felony; dealing schedule II controlled substance, A felony; and maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Rachel M. Schmidt, 21, Mount Vernon, dealing a look-a-like substance, C felony; and maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Corey M. Ricketts, 24, Mount Vernon, dealing a look-a-like substance, C felony; dealing meth, A felony; and maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Richard A. Lashley, 41, Mount Vernon, dealing a Schedule II controlled substance, A felony; neglect of a dependent, C felony; and maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Jarod G. Allred, 32, Mount Vernon, two counts dealing Schedule II controlled substance, A felonies; and maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Melissa C. Adler, 40, Mount Vernon, two counts dealing Schedule II controlled substance, A felonies; and maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Russell S. Adler, 32, Mount Vernon, two counts dealing Schedule II controlled substance, A felonies; and maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Kenneth Ashby, 29, Mount Vernon, two counts dealing look-a-like substance, C felonies; and maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Nicholas J. Forsee, 20, Mount Vernon, dealing meth, A felony.
• Cathy L. Gahl, 44, Mount Vernon, two counts dealing meth, B felonies.
• Christopher S. Jolley, 29, Evansville, dealing Schedule II controlled substance, A felony; maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Ronald T. McDowell, 36, Mount Vernon, dealing meth, A felony; possession of meth, B felony; and possession of chemical reagents with intent to manufacture controlled substance, C felony.
• Amanda M. Shockley, 29, Mount Vernon, dealing Schedule II controlled substance, A felony; dealing meth, A felony; and maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Jacquelyn Jo Shell, 44, Mount Vernon, two counts dealing Schedule II controlled substance, A felonies; dealing meth, A felony; dealing Schedule IV controlled substance, B felony; and maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Jennifer Stewart, 32, Mount Vernon, dealing Schedule II controlled substance, A felony; and maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Andrew S. Bowles, 25, Mount Vernon, dealing marijuana, C felony; and maintaining a common nuisance, D felony.
• Terry L. Vaupel, 63, Mount Vernon, dealing meth, A felony; and possession of chemical reagents with intent to manufacture a controlled substance, C felony.