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Local drug charges for dismissed, but federal authorities to resume prosecutions

Friday, March 24, 2006

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The State of Indiana's charges against Ginger Leah Locke, 20, of Terre Haute, Shaun Ray Clark, 25, and Joel Allen Childress, 24, both of Brazil, have been dismissed to allow federal prosecution.

"In circumstances such as these, the federal government will take an interest in prosecuting these types of defendants," Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger told The Brazil Times Thursday afternoon. "The federal goverment often times has the resources to prosecute more aggressively under federal law than individual states. The result being more severe punishment, possibly."

Double Jeopardy laws do not allow for the same case to be prosecuted in two different courts for the same individual, so the local charges were dropped to allow the federal courts to prosecute charges that arise out of the defendants' arrests on December 27, 2005.

While investigating a suspected drunk driver at the Road Ranger Gas Station near S.R. 42, the Clay County Sheriff's Department arrested Locke, Clark and Childress. The three were preliminarily charged with various felony drug and firearms charges after officers obtained a search warrant and discovered two handguns, a semi-automatic and a revolver, inside the vehicle along with approximately 200 grams of Methamphetamine, digital scales, syringes, a bullet-proof vest and almost $3,000 in cash.

The Clay County Sheriff's Department considered it to be one of the largest seizures of Methamphetamine during a traffic stop in Clay County during 2005.

Information about individual charges and court dates were unavailable by the federal courts as of press time.



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