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Three arrested during bust

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Zachary Brighton
* Traffic stop in Brazil leads to Clay City arrests

CLAY CITY -- Three Clay County men were taken into custody Saturday evening amid numerous allegations of drug activity and possession of illegal substances.

According to the Clay County Sheriff Department, K-9 Handler Sgt. Josh Clarke and K-9 Officer Forrest discovered approximately a quarter-pound of marijuana during a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Zachary Brighton, 23, Clay City, near Speedway Petroleum Corp., 301 West National Ave., Brazil.

Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton told The Brazil Times tips from concerned residents about heavy traffic flow around Brighton's home had been coming into the department for several months, but the ongoing investigation by the CCSD -- with the assistance of Indiana State Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) -- intensified during the past month.

"Officers performed several controlled purchases of marijuana from Brighton's residence during the past month," Heaton said. "This was a team effort. The drug problem in Clay County is no different than in any other. We're a small department so we utilize other resources to help bring an end to these matters as quickly as possible."

Information during the stop led officials to obtain a search warrant for Brighton's residence located at 705 Washington St., Clay City.

Mathew Gallatin
As Brighton was booked into the Clay County Justice Center, officers located Jordan Novotney, 24, and Mathew Gallatin, 24, both of Brazil, at Brighton's home, which is less than 1,000 feet from the Clay City Elementary School.

During the search of the residence, officers located an undisclosed amount of cash, more than a pound of marijuana, an undisclosed amount of prescription drugs, various controlled substances, Psilocybe or "magic mushrooms" and various items of drug paraphernalia.

Because his residence is located near the school, Brighton was formally charged with three counts of "enhanced" class C felony dealing marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school, one count each of class D felony maintaining a common nuisance, class A misdemeanor possession of marijuana, class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia and two counts of class C felony possession of controlled substance schedule I and III within 1,000 feet of a school.

Jail officials confirmed Brighton remains incarcerated on a $10,000 cash bond (no 10 percent allowed) to await further court proceedings.

Officials confirmed to The Brazil Times Zachary Brighton is the son of Mark E. Brighton, who was recently arrested at his Seelyville residence for alleged drug activity in October.

According to the Indiana State Police, Brighton was arrested on preliminary charges of class A felony dealing methamphetamine, class D felony possession of marijuana over 30 grams, class D felony cultivating marijuana, class D felony maintaining a common nuisance and class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia.

Jordan Novotney
Novotney was taken into custody and formally charged with a class D felony possession of marijuana, class A misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia and a class A misdemeanor visiting a common nuisance. On Tuesday, Novotney bonded out of the Clay County Justice Center to await further court proceedings.

Gallatin was also taken into custody and formally charged with one count of class C felony possession of schedule IV controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a school and class A misdemeanor visiting a common nuisance. On Sunday, Gallatin bonded out of the Clay County Justice Center to await further court proceedings.

When asked about the level of impact the three arrests would make in the community, Heaton said any drug activity -- especially that located near a school -- is a high priority for law enforcement.

"Marijuana is a drug that leads to problems and other things. Drugs are overburdening law enforcement by using up manpower, our budget money and time that we need to work on other types of cases. We still need to work thefts and burglary reports, which are often caused by someone trying to support their drug habit," Heaton said. "This investigation isn't over. We expect to potentially make more arrests off this case."

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Good job getting this trash off our streets. Loosers.

-- Posted by ADJ on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 5:30 AM

$10,000 bond within 1000 feet of a school!I wonder why some are given $50,000 and some $10,000?Is there not a standard across the Board?

-- Posted by westsidemom on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 7:37 AM

Of course they will get more arrests ! these dope heads all talk tough, but once they are in jail, they cry like little girls, they make me sick, after thirteen yrs in law enforcement, i have only seeen one person who didnt snitch on his so called friends to get a deal. they are cowards ! they sell trash to kids, and then cry when caught, throw the book at them. TO WESTSIDE MOM...THEY DONT DESERVE A BOND !!!

-- Posted by otis66 on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 8:06 AM

I was expecting so much more from a headline like that. "The manpower" and "budget money" on a case like this?!? Its a joke. And keep in mind, just because its 1000 ft from a school, doesn't mean it has ANYTHING to do with selling drugs to kids. Otis, I would like to see how you would act behind bars. You can talk tough because your on the other side of it. Heaton is a joke, instead of complaining, go out and bring down the more serious criminals you were referring to.

-- Posted by Lovett83 on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 8:37 AM

the bad part is when the cops take one off the streets , two more take their place.

supply and demand, as long as people want drugs there will be people willing to give it to them

with all the drug dealers the cash over weighs the prison time.

Stop being soft and Start giving time!

-- Posted by Sand mann on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 8:44 AM

As adults and as children we need to learn to just say No to illegal drugs.no days we have to worry about prescription drugs too.

Lovett83, got a question : isn't drug dealing a more serious crime?

i don't know who otis66 is, but wanting to see him behind bars for making a comment( 13 years of knowledge) is harsh.

guess when you break a law (illegal drugs) doesn't matter how many more you break ( dealing drugs within 1000ft of school)

-- Posted by Sand mann on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 9:54 AM

Lovett83 ~

Sheriff Heaton refers to "other types of crimes" not "more serious crimes" ~ & drug crimes do overload the budget both financially & with manpower ~ read the criminal filings ~ drug arrests is a never ending battle ~

Any drug activity near a school is serious ~ kids pay attention ~ there is always the potential for kids to not only buy the drugs but to be in a target area for a more dangerous situation ~ what about a drug deal gone wrong? Want innocent kids to be in the line of fire when drug dealers start feuding?

Another "atta boy" to Sheriff Heaton & CCSD and all other agencies involved ~ keep those arrests coming ~

-- Posted by karebabe on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 10:23 AM

Good luck getting our prosecutor to do anything about this. Halie Hite was killed October 8th and the driver was never arrested for anything. At the very least, it should have been vehicular manslaughter. People know they can get away with the worst of things in Brazil and pay very little in consequences.

-- Posted by cubbiefan on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 10:45 AM

"Several controlled purchases"? Several, how many is several. Is'nt one enough to arrest someone for selling drugs (within 1000 ft of a school, no less). I don't recall a speeding ticket after several pull overs. What the hell are you doing, trying to buld a case? Our liberal court system will have them out in no time, back on welfare, food stamps, and ...dealing to kids again.

-- Posted by reddevil on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 10:49 AM

Visiting a place of common nuisance.

Get real, where was the signs stating the house was a place of common nuisance.That is so ansurd,next time you go to visit anybody I quess you have to call the POLICE and ask if your friends or aquaintenanec house is on the list.

Selling drugs I have no problem with thier arrest at all,its pretty hard to live anywhere that your not within a 1000 feet of a school,but I do have aproblem with cops buying drugs,as far as I am conserned,they should be arrested also for purchasing drugs.But we all know the Brazil PD and the Sheriffs office are as crooked as the crooks are.Police dictarship at its finest

-- Posted by T-REX on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 10:52 AM

These young men would make fine recruits for Uncle Sam's military. Clean them up by removing them from their recent center of activity, and truly change their lives by making them respectful, and dignified by serving our country.

-- Posted by reddevil on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 12:27 PM

First the comment that states, I don't recall a speeding ticket after several pull overs, come on do your home work, it takes alot to make an arrests stick...T-REX come on if you know that your friend or aquaintenanec is dealing or doing drugs then why are you even going there...

-- Posted by small town mom on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 1:36 PM


I do have aproblem with cops buying drugs,as far as I am conserned,they should be arrested also for purchasing drugs.

I agree 100 %.


These young men would make fine recruits for Uncle Sam's military

I disagree

these people will only change their lives because they want to.

I think most want the easy and fast way to make money and support their habit, not all do drugs.

the good thing is these people are off the streets.

GOOD JOB for that.

-- Posted by Sand mann on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 3:21 PM

Way to go Sheriff Heaton and all the rest of you who helped bust these dirt bags! Keep up the good work. Good dog Forrest!

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 3:41 PM

It seems like there are a lot of people out there who think they have a good idea of how things in the legal system work when in fact they're misguided. Before you criticize people for their actions, maybe you should educate yourself and find out the reason things are done the way they are. These naysayer's remind me of the Monday morning quarterback who is quick to criticize but has never played the sport and doesn't really know the rules. Officers don't just go out and make up policy as they go, there are rules and guidelines that they must adhere to in order to make a criminal case that is sound and will stand the test that the court will put it through.

Officers are allowed to make undercover drug purchases for the same reason that they're allowed to exceed the speed limit to catch up with a speeding driver; if they weren't then they wouldn't be able to make a case. Most of the people who say that officers should be arrested for making undercover drug purchases are probably fellow travelers who don't want to get caught themselves or don't want their source shut down.

More than one undercover purchase is often made for several different reasons, including showing a pattern of behavior and to ensure that if anything is procedurally wrong with one case they have another to fall back on. Sheriff Heaton and his officers are doing a great job; many other agencies are just ignoring the drug problem and letting the dealers have the run of their jurisdiction. Drug dealing and abuse are the cause of so many other crimes that it would be a dereliction of duty for the Sheriff not to investigate these crimes. Should the Sheriff and his Deputies investigate the symptoms of the crime problem or the cause? Keep up the great work.

-- Posted by Unsolicited opinion on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 5:31 PM

First off. He has a quarter pound of this drug on him and is being charged with misdemenor possession. If you have that much shouldn't it be more than a misdemenor? And I agree with T-Rex. They stated they made several controlled purchases. One purchase should have been enough to arrest them.But several?? Please!! Doesn't make them look to good to me.. T-Rex is right. I feel the police and sheriffs department are probably corrupt.How many tipoffs have officers made to family members so they dont get busted?? akes you wonder. And their so called sources, have many have had their crimes wiped off the books just to set up a deal with someone.Doesn't matter if they are innocent or not!! Brazil needs to get some honest officers in.

-- Posted by whatthe? on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 5:36 PM

Public hangings are the answer to all of this.

-- Posted by JustinH on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 5:49 PM

Hmmm. Lots of banter about this. Maybe its time to realize that the tighter they squeeze the more they slip through their fingers. Maybe its time for the state and the law to stop worrying about what people do and just protect peoples rights. Jeez. Cannabis sativa is only illegal because the big wigs in the south didn't want it to become a replacement for cotton. You morons are fighting about the arrest of people selling a cotton substitute. The only way they illegalized it was to make the importation of it illegal. Since its a non-native plant the legal eagles swoop in and assume it was "smuggled". All these people thinking they know so much just crack me up. In fact, its not even illegal to grow and possess. You can apply for a stamp tax. Of course, you won't get it. Again, you're just being arrested for avoiding the tax. Just more government tyranny. Personally, I think smoking it is just stupid. I think getting drunk is dumb too but to each his own. Someday we'll have a Constitution again. Until then, tyranny prevails. Progressive control of the masses. It is pathetic.

-- Posted by TheRider on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 6:58 PM


If you think Sheriff Heaton is such a "joke" then why don't you go out there and clean up the streets?

Way to go CCSD. I appreciate what you are doing.

-- Posted by th1953 on Wed, Nov 18, 2009, at 11:29 PM

3 more candidates for Clay County "Man of the Year". Vote early & vote often......oh wait, that's what the democrats do.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Thu, Nov 19, 2009, at 12:16 AM

I do......I'm Batman.

-- Posted by Lovett83 on Thu, Nov 19, 2009, at 8:24 AM

I do......I'm Batman.

-- Posted by Lovett83 on Thu, Nov 19, 2009, at 8:24 AM

Completely made my day!

-- Posted by Indymove on Thu, Nov 19, 2009, at 8:42 AM

marijuana isnt a drug. this was a non violent offense. any addiction is a medical issue. enlighten the taxpayers the thousands it will cost them to house these so called criminals!

-- Posted by zappa9084 on Fri, Nov 20, 2009, at 9:54 PM

As someone who knows two of the three of these guys pretty well, some of these comments are founded in unmitigated ignorance.

Two of these guys have full-time jobs and have held these jobs for several years. They are not violent, some have families that they take care of, pay for, and support without the taxpayers money.

Other than grow, smoke, and sell (not to kids) pot, what other crime have they committed against society? I know for a fact these guys don't sell to kids.

Therefore, hanging them or sending them off to war do not seem like reasonable solutions to a non-existent problem.

The fact that Heaton dedicated so much time and money to arrest some guys with a quarter pound of pot, some baggies, some magazines, a couple hundred dollars, and some lighters, proves what an absolute sham the war on drugs has become.

Meth, pedophilia, rape, robbery, etc. and Heaton goes for the non-violent pot smokers. What a shame.

-- Posted by johngalt on Sat, Nov 21, 2009, at 4:40 PM