Legal officials believe the longer a criminal remains on the streets the more likely they are to commit various additional crimes.
According to the Clay County Sheriff's Department, the investigation and search continues for at least five elusive suspects who remain at large after the Aug. 5 drug sweep.
"This is far from over," Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton told The Brazil Times Wednesday afternoon. "We are still actively investigating the ongoing cases from the 2006 drug sweep that led to the drug sweep earlier this month, the new drug investigations from the tips and information collected during this month's drug sweep and initiating new drug investigations from new information provided to us daily."
While some arrest warrants for misdemeanor charges have a specific time limit in which to be served before they need to be renewed, arrest warrants issued in Indiana for felony charges are different.
Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger said the statute of limitations doesn't have an effect on the arrest warrants issued for felony charges during the drug sweep.
"These warrants will remain in effect until the suspects are caught, or they turn themselves in," Reberger said. "They will not go away and we will not stop looking for the suspects involved."
Although officials will not comment on some of the techniques used to track fugitive suspects to protect the integrity of the investigations, Heaton said his department is making use of all of the available informational resources at the state and federal levels to track the whereabouts of suspects and continue drug investigations in the area.
"We are a small department with limited manpower. We have to utilize all available resources out there and we are going to keep using them," Heaton said. "The Indiana State Police is involved in these cases, so are members of the U.S. Marshal's Office Fugitive Task Force."
Although suspects Keith E. Fields, Nicole J. Bond-Lange, Jonah Childress, Dusty Rhodes and Kimberly Schurick have yet to be located, Heaton said officers are continuing to look for them locally and outside the state.
"That is where the services of the Fugitive Task Force comes in handy. Their officers can search databases on a national level," he said. "The public is also an integral part of these ongoing investigations and future investigations."
Heaton said concerned tipsters who provided information before the recent drug sweep helped lead to the removal of drug dealers and drugs from area neighborhoods.
"These are the people the citizens of our community have complained about," he said. "They're the ones residents wanted out of their communities. The tips they provided helped us do our jobs and get these people off the streets."
Suspects still on the run
The remaining at-large suspects not picked up during the Aug. 5 warrant sweep in Clay County are,
* Dusty Rhodes, 35, Terre Haute, wanted for one class B felony charge of dealing methamphetamine,
* Jonah Childress, 27, Terre Haute, wanted for one class B felony charge of dealing methamphetamine,
* Nicole J. Bond-Lange, 38, Brazil, wanted for two class B felony charges of dealing methamphetamine, two class D felony charges of maintaining a common nuisance and two class B misdemeanor charges of visiting a common nuisance,
* Keith E. Fields, 46, Coalmont, wanted for one class D felony charge of possession of methamphetamine and one class D felony charge of possession of paraphernalia, and
* Kimberly Schurick, 27, Clay County, wanted for one class B felony charge of dealing in methamphetamine and one class D felony charge of maintaining a common nuisance.
To provide information as to the whereabouts of these individuals, contact the Clay County Sheriff's Department at 446-2535 or the Brazil City Police Department at 446-2211.