Michael Bemis, who was under house arrest, and his wife, Dawn, were arrested June 16 after a search by law enforcement personnel of their residence located at 14741 N. Ash St. in Carbon, Ind., turned up small amounts of suspected methamphetamine, numerous pipes commonly used to smoke methamphetamine, digital scales, and storage baggies along with ammunition for rifles and shotguns.
Community Corrections Officer John Tabasco, who had determined that a search of the home was necessary, contacted law enforcement personnel to aid in the search, but all this took place without a search warrant.
"Each person on home detention signs a fourth amendment waiver and are subject to having their property searched by the Community Corrections Officers and any law enforcement officer they need to assist," Clay Co. Det. Sgt. Rob Gambill said of the lawful search he helped plan and organize. "Home detention is an alternative to traditional incarceration, but the person on home detention is still under control of the court and its officers. Those on home detention are subject to a stricter set of rules than those in the general population and they need to know that those rules will be enforced."
When placed on home detention, Michael Bemis signed a waiver of his fourth amendment rights, which allowed the search to take place. The Bemises were arrested for possession of methamphetamine and reckless possession of paraphernalia and incarcerated in the Clay County Jail in lieu of $7,000 cash bond.
Tabasco also immediately removed Michael Bemis from the home detention program, while Det. Gambill plans to ask for federal charges to be filed against Bemis for possessing ammunition after being convicted of a previous felony.
"This search and arrest should send a strong message to those on house arrest that are using their relative freedom to continue their criminal behavior," Gambill said, explaining that members of law enforcement receive frequent information regarding the behavior of people on home detention which is always checked. "Continue breaking the law and we will be there to pull you back into the system."
Other personnel assisting during the June 16 search included Chief Deputy Doug Barr, Reserve Deputies Chris Robinson, Benny Bose, and Jack Gibbens along with Clay County Special Deputy Larry Richmond, Carbon Town Marshal Ron Keen, and Trooper John Goldner. Michael Bemis' Probation Officer, Kelsey White, also assisted at the request of Tabasco.