"Operation Spring Clean" underway at crack of dawn

Authored by Jim Langham on Apr 1, 2010
"Operation Spring Clean" underway at crack of dawn

At the crack of dawn, 40 law enforcement officials headed out from the Adams County Jail in Decatur to serve warrants of 42 charges to 18 people in a four- county area. Of those charges, two were misdemeanors. Warrants were served in Allen, Adams, Wells, and Delaware counties. Adams County Sheriff Chuck Padgett said that the Delaware County warrants were served because task force officials had made purchases from those officials in Adams County.

As of press time this morning, seven of the 18 people being charged had been booked.

They include, all from Decatur, Amanda Gates, 26, Carl Stevens, 27, Joshua Price, 28, Greg Thornton, 18, Michael Robinson, 23, Nicole Lemler, 23, and Robert Laws, 29. “This wraps up a 10 month covert drug investigation, ‘Operation Spring Clean,’ said Padgett. “The warrants, issued by the Adams Circuit and Superior Courts, resulted from the pur- chase of a variety of controlled substances including cocaine, prescription pain medications, and marijuana.”

The Sheriff said that the DETECT Drug Task Force, which oversaw and conducted the investigation, made the illicit purchases in Adams County. Many of the purchases occurred in local subsidized housing complexes.

Of the 18 charged, two were juveniles who were detained as a result of the investigation. “All of the charges are merely accusations and the persons arrested are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty,” said Padgett. Padgett noted that the DETECT Drug Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional task force pooling resources from the Adams and Wells County Sheriff Departments, Bluffton Police Department and Decatur Police Department.

The task force is funded in part by a federal grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance and administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. “The police officers affiliated with DETECT also thank members of local governments who financially support the task force,” noted the Sheriff. Trafficking and abuse of controlled substance and pre- scription medications continue to have long-term negative effects on local communities. The task force is committed to enforcing Indiana’s controlled substance laws in order to protect individuals, families and social services.

“Covert operations such as this one serve to not only deter violation of controlled substance laws, but also reduce collateral crimes committed by those persons who are using or abusing controlled substances on communities,” said Padgett.

Officers from the Adams and Wells County Sheriff’s Department, Decatur, Berne, and Bluffton Police Departments, Geneva Town Marshal’s Office, and the Indiana State Police assisted in this morning’s raid.

Law enforcement officials welcome and encourage local citizens to report any suspected criminal activity to either local law enforcement agencies or to Adams County Crime Stoppers at 260-692-2882 or adamscountycrimestoppers.com.

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