[The Brazil Times nameplate] Overcast ~ 59°F  
High: 58°F ~ Low: 43°F
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Drug raid, warrant sweep nets numerous arrests

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

County, state and federal law enforcement agencies joined forces Tuesday morning to arrest more than 30 individuals alleged to be involved in drug related activity from neighborhoods across Clay County.

"Anytime we can take someone involved in this type of activity off the streets, our community is much safer for it," Clay County Sheriff' Mike Heaton told The Brazil Times shortly after the main portion of the drug sweep had ended.

"Our residents don't want drugs in their community and this investigation is based on community participation in that effort through their reporting tips of suspicious activity."

More than 60 officers from the Clay County Sheriff's Department, Brazil City Police Department, Clay City Police Department, Clay Community Corrections, Clay County Probation Department were joined by officials from the Indiana State Police (Terre Haute and Bloomington posts), Putnam County Sheriff's Department, Parke County Sheriff's Department, the Department of Natural Resources, DEA and the U.S. Marshals Office around 4:30 a.m., Tuesday, for the warrant sweep of at least 25 residences in Clay, Parke, Owen, Hendricks and Monroe counties.

The Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger and Deputy Prosecutor Kim Jackson were also in the field to assist in serving warrants.

The Department of Family and Child Services were on standby for situations where children are involved. However, no children were discovered in situations where they needed to be removed from a home.

Officers attempted to serve approximately 40 arrest warrants throughout Tuesday and expect to continue the investigation in the upcoming weeks.

Officials are hopeful that after seeing the culmination of the two-year investigation that more people will come forward with more tips about drug activity.

After the April 2006 drug sweep, Heaton and BCPD Chief Terry Harrison confirmed that many local residents took action and began reporting suspected drug activity in their neighborhoods throughout Clay County.

"(Investigating tips) is a timely process and people do become frustrated when they think their information is not working, but it is," Harrison said, adding that he was grateful for the public's assistance in the fight against crime.

"We encourage people to continue to call with information about suspicious activity in their neighborhoods. All of us in law enforcement want to make sure we keep drugs off the streets."

According to officials, information from tips, along with both the county and city departments establishing full time drug officers to investigate drug related activity, led to an increase in local drug arrests the past few years.

The increased arrests have been welcomed within the community, but many local residents have begun to wonder if Clay County is a haven for drugs.

"Clay County is not experiencing a higher level of drug activity than any other county in the Wabash Valley, or in the state. It only seems more prevalent because of all the arrests," Heaton said.

"What makes our area unique is that local law enforcement agencies are working together and have taken a very proactive stance against drugs in our community.

"We're going to continue to take a proactive stance against the people involved in drugs that are dealing because, you know, last thing we want to see is these drugs ending up in kids hands, which obviously sometimes does. We want to keep them out of our schools, out of our community,"?Heaton added.

Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger was impressed with the effort put forth by the officers involved throughout the investigation.

Although no high-profile arrests were made in drug sweep, Reberger said some of the names of the individuals in custody are familiar to the criminal system.

"These arrests will cut down on recruiting new people into the drug world," Reberger said. "Just because there are no high profile arrests today doesn't mean law enforcement officers aren't out there doing their jobs."

If illegal activity is happening, he said law enforcement is going after the individuals involved.

"We're going to chase these people down, where ever they are at," Reberger said.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on thebraziltimes.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

Where are the names of those arrested?

-- Posted by Bruther on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 8:29 PM

click on the picture it shows all there names & pics

-- Posted by kd323 on Tue, Aug 5, 2008, at 9:21 PM

What picture?

-- Posted by andypflueger on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 6:39 AM

I do appreciate the effort put into this, but just as Mr. Reberger says there are no high profile arrests in this bust.

These are all homegrown people dealing with other homegrowns', everyone knows each other. Most of them have already been in and out of CCJC several times this year and should not have been out anyway. William Moss for instance busted with a sawed off shot gun and Meth. Zuell, who hasn't read his name a dozen times. The same with many others. They should not have been out on the streets.

Why didn't the bust of '06 lead to a more directed bust this year? Why are you not reaching the suppliers?

Not all of these people are going to keep quiet; I just hope the right officer is there to follow the lead. We need to reach further and take away the supply.

-- Posted by wind_blown_words on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 9:24 AM

You click on the picture of one of the convicts, and the rest show up. Not very well explained on the site.

-- Posted by Bruther on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 9:42 AM

Where is the picture of Laura Sproul?

-- Posted by lucyq on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 11:40 AM

It is about time! I don't care if they are "home grown/low profile" this bust makes me happy, I understand that investigations take time but some of these people have been doing this for more than 10 years and not only did the BCP have their names years ago but the Indiana Drug Task Force also knew; surely they have names of some of the "high profile" and I bet we would all be surprised at what level of society these "high profile" are.

-- Posted by champ on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 12:53 PM

More great work by our law enforcement. Now let's see what the justice department is going to do with these parasites.

-- Posted by SunCatcher47 on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 1:41 PM

I am not sure that many of us would be surprised. There is a very high level of corruption in this town, and with in many of the prominent families. It is detectable in the schools, the government and local programs.

I am glad that these folks are being punished for the wrong they are doing, but isn't it time to push into the real problem? Expose everyone doing wrong to humiliation and not just the bottom layer of society?

Over and over these same names go through the system so that the big picture is left covered and unidentifiable.

-- Posted by wind_blown_words on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 1:45 PM

These may not be "high-profile" arrests ~ but let's face it any drug arrests are good for our community ~ maybe someday this will all lead to the "high-profile" arrests you are speaking of ~ give due credit to the Clay County Sheriffs Department for the drug arrests ~ at least they're trying to get the drugs out of our community ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 1:55 PM

I know & I understand why everybody is quick to judge. But out of love & respect for my family I want to clear things up for all of you reading this. My cousin was one of those arrested(Jaclyn Maday). Jaclyn is a very intelligent woman who came from a VERY good home. At a young age she lost her adopted mother & moved up here from Southern Indiana, we have a lot of family in the Brazil area & she was introduced to lifestyles & people she would have never interacted with if it hadn't have been for her wanting to make friends & a life up here. Unfortunately she did get caught up with Wes Okulovich & so began all of her problems. We all tried to get her away from him & get her to open her eyes, but she is just another victim of love. All she could see in him was the good. I believe Wes deserves what he gets I know all of his bad behavior & all he does is bring himself,his family & the people who love him down. I know it's hard to believe with the way society is but Jaclyn really is just an innocent person caught up in love.

-- Posted by momma08 on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 2:45 PM

A time will come for the "bigger fish", sooner or later one of the "locals" will give them up, let's hope it's "sooner".

Nice job by the authorities!

-- Posted by BowlingGreenGuy on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 4:05 PM

I am VERY PLEASED to see all these arrests making the news and the front page of our paper... The only problem I see is the ones who were arrested are what I consider "THE USERS & THE LOSERS"... These are the people that get hooked, and then began to sell, to supply their habit.. Yes, they needed to be arrested, and I'm sorry to say... my neice is one of them. BUT, they are if fact, victims too...

WE NEED to see the BIG GUYS arrested, the MAJOR SUPPLIERS.... Then MAYBE we can see things change in our town, until that happens...this is just a show. To let us think the officials in our town are "trying" to stop the drug trafficing, to have us "believe" they are on top of things... Well, I for one don't believe it!! It's went on for too long, and is only getting worse... the "victims" go to jail, and the "BIG GUYS" get richer...

-- Posted by Bema on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 4:14 PM

Why not go after the well known Family that brings it in...Over the years they have went from rags to riches even owning a business there in town...Come on get the suppliers now...Thats where the real problems begins...

-- Posted by cash on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 5:41 PM

You won't see the one from "well kwown families" in these arrest..why would anyone think you would? You never do. Well, maybe once in a while you just might see the a name but never nothing coming of the charges. It's good to see the drugs being cleaned up in Brazil but the worst of them will never be behind bars. And drugs isn't the only thing that is going on here but that's all we hear about. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is fed up with the ones who get away with drug charges, breaking and entry, destroying property, murder; yet those who don't drink, or do drugs, respects others' property gets followed for several blocks before being pulled over and told you ran a stop sign or you didn't come to a complete stop or you're not wearing a seatbelt. God forbid these criminals run our streets with the drug dealers and murders.

-- Posted by levr.gar on Wed, Aug 6, 2008, at 7:42 PM


-- Posted by Criminology08 on Thu, Aug 7, 2008, at 4:54 AM

Sorry to break it to you Bema, but those 'users and losers' are far from being victims of anything.

Cash I don't think I can relate to the 'well known family' you are describing.

-- Posted by Pro Se on Thu, Aug 7, 2008, at 8:13 AM

These events are done in cycles, there was a roundup similar to this on 4-20-06, and then there was the Federal roundup of over 30 high profile targets, now another group of lower profile targets. The so called "low profile" targets are the ones who generate the most citizen complaints, they can't be left untouched.

Drive through the neighborhoods where many of these "low profile" people live and you can see the problem first hand. The good citizens in those neighborhoods are victims of these drug abusers and dealers that have moved in near them. When your family can't sleep at night because of the non stop traffic at the drug houses, when you are afraid to leave the house unattended because the drug abusers will come in and steal what you have worked for, when you are afraid to let your children out in their own neighborhood to play due to the drugs being dealt and the drug abusers coming in to buy them, then there is a major problem.

This drug problem is being attacked from both ends. If you have information on who is committing these crimes or who the high profile players are, then call in and give it to the Sheriff's Department or Police Department; if you don't want to deal with those agencies then call the DEA or FBI. Just realize, that the fact that you think somebody is dealing drugs doesn't give the police the right to bust down their door and haul them off, there has to be proof that can stand up in a court. If you have the proof, then put your money where your mouth is and be a witness and be willing to go to court to help put these people away. It's easy to sit behind a computer and gripe about what isn't being done, it's a little harder to get out there and try to make a difference.

-- Posted by Unsolicited opinion on Thu, Aug 7, 2008, at 11:39 AM

Way to go unsolicited opinion ~ people griping isn't what we need ~ the entire community supporting all the agencies in a positive manor for whatever arrests they make is the answer ~ keep up the good work ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Thu, Aug 7, 2008, at 8:40 PM

this is crazy. i got locked up for being around my boyfriend at my house. they let him out after doing all his time. the judge said he was cleared of all charges but he knew about the bust.and still let him out on aug.4,08 then at 5:30 the next morning they came and got both of us.They need to go after the BIG TIME drug dealers and leave us alone. i seen not that many big time drug dealers in the paper. where are they? (still on the streets) so its not going to do any good to get the users off the streets and leave the BIG TIME drug dealers out there.

-- Posted by blackjack19833 on Wed, Aug 13, 2008, at 11:51 PM

Well, Jaclyn(blackjack19833),

If you didn't allow drugs to be sold in your home while your child was there then maybe you wouldn't have been arrested. Quit crying about who didn't get arrested and clean up your own life.

-- Posted by Unsolicited opinion on Fri, Aug 15, 2008, at 12:48 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: