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Agencies arrest 19 on allegations of meth trafficking

Thursday, April 15, 2010

TERRE HAUTE -- The Clay County Sheriff's Department participated in the investigation that ultimately led to the indictment of 19 individuals on allegations of methamphetamine trafficking in the area.

According to information released by the Terre Haute Division of the United States Southern District Court Thursday, a federal grand jury returned one indictment in the case that charged the individuals with conspiracy to distribute methaphetamine.

Wesley S. Hammond, 39, currently incarcerated at the New Castle Correctional Institution, Ind., is alleged to have maintained and used a cellular telephone while in prison to coordinate the activities of a methamphetamine trafficking organization operating in Terre Haute.

Officials believe Jennifer Poltrock, 28, Terre Haute, was Hammond's girlfriend and acted as lieutenant in the Terre Haute drug organization by allegedly distributing methamphetamine and marijuana to drug dealers who worked for Hammond.

Hammond's primary methamphetamine dealers allegedly included Terre Haute residents Dustin McCombs, 22, David J. Pitts, 39, Bradley S. Shelton, 34, Jwuan Moreland, 35, and his brother Antrio D. Hammond, 31, Indianapolis. Shelton was also charged with a separate count of distribution of methamphetmine.

Other alleged drug traffickers from the Terre Haute area include Rae Anna Johnson, 65, Keith C. Pitts, 19, John Mikolajczyk, 41, Jeffrey L. Denny, 34, Megan E. Samuels, 21, Michael E. Adkins, 26, Herbert D. Phipps, 53, Ahmad Hadi, 50, Dennis D. Plummer, 36, Melissa Van Ness, 36, Timothy Bailey, 48, and Susie Annette Smith.

Agencies involved with the investigation include the Evansville office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Vigo County Drug Task Force, Vigo County Prosecutor's Office, Indiana State Police, Vincennes Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Clay County Sheriff's Department and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

According to Assistant U. S. Attorney Bradley A. Blackington, who is prosecuting the case for the government, most of the defendants, if convicted, face maximum possible prison sentences of life imprisonment.

Initial hearings will begin at 9 a.m., Monday, April 19, for some of the defendants before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Terre Haute.

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GOOD SCORE! Some losers never learn. . . .

-- Posted by madmom01 on Thu, Apr 15, 2010, at 10:40 PM

A lot of people have the misconception that drug crime is a problem we have within our young adults or only with people at or below the poverty level.

The ages are posted in the article, from age 19 up to 65, from just out of high school to eligible for Social Security. I have to wonder about the range of legal annual income.

-- Posted by Leo L. Southworth on Fri, Apr 16, 2010, at 9:38 AM

Leo L. Southworth, about your first statement, is that a fact or your opinion? If it's a fact, would you post your source? I didn't notice criminologist or psychologist on your resume.

-- Posted by I. M. Lee Thall, Esq. on Fri, Apr 16, 2010, at 7:58 PM

Leo makes an excellent point. Many people do think that only certain people are involved in drug manufacturing & trafficking, when in reality many people become involved in unexpected ways. I know an individual who was raised in a farming community, much like ours. He worked so hard and so many hours to support the family that he began to "extend" his work hours with coffee, mountain dew, "No-Doze", etc. He eventually sampled meth and used it when he had to stay up late/awake. He then continued to work excessive hours to pay the bills and then felt he could do it long enough to make some money for a nest egg. Again, the work he was doing was legal- farming, excavating, trucking, etc. Within a short time, he was addicted, then started making his own meth to "save money". The authorities stepped in and he is nearing the end of a ten year prion sentence. Please don't think I feel sorry for him. I'm making the point that this individual was much like many individuals in our community- hard working and wanting to do more for his family. Life can be a slippery slope at times. One wrong step and you are down, and people like to kick those who are down. Leo is right. Drugs are not contained to young people or those living in poverty. If they were, the drug problem would be much easier to resolve. You don't need to be a criminologist or psychologist to come to that conclusion.

-- Posted by Claycountian on Sun, Apr 18, 2010, at 8:32 AM

The reality is that ANYONE willing to start messing with drugs can easily become addicted. Level of income doesn't really even have to play a part. In fact, many of the wealthiest people in our society commonly have addiction problems. You can find that out by watching the news and seeing how many celebrities, medical professionals, politicians, etc. are charged each day. The outcome, however, usually ends in poverty. Addicts get to the point of spending every dime they have and losing all their possessions on their addiction.

Drugs are not just limited to low income levels. They just tend to end up forcing users there.

-- Posted by olmedic on Thu, Apr 22, 2010, at 8:52 PM

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