Tyler A. Weidner, 29, was arrested by Officer Ryan Van Horn of the Jasonville Police Department (JPD), who booked him into the Greene County Jail on suspicion of manufacturing methamphetamine.
Van Horn was on routine patrol around 2 a.m., when he got a whiff of a strong chemical odor. It led him to pull into an alley that runs north and south between Meridian and Southeast Washington streets, then to a garage, located at 322 S. Meridian.
The closer he got, the stronger the smell.
JPD Assistant Chief James Gadberry said Van Horn is an active member of the Greene County Drug Task Force and through his training and experience, was able to identify the odors as those commonly associated with the manufacturing of methamphetamine.
Van Horn reported that he knocked on the door of the garage more than once. There was no answer, but he could hear someone moving around in what sounded like a frantic manner.
After knocking some more, the officer moved around to a window, where he could see Weidner moving items under a work bench and into a corner of the garage. Weidner finally opened the door.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Weidner told the officer he'd been using starting fluid to work on a tie rod of his girlfriend's car. He also said he had been released from prison four months earlier and was having a hard time finding a job. And he allegedly admitted that he had "made dope" twice in those four months.
Weidner gave verbal consent for a search of the garage and the individual renting the property, Stacy Collins, gave written consent.
Van Horn said when he entered the garage, he opened the garage door to ventilate the chemical smell -- an overwhelming smell of anhydrous ammonia, and he saw equipment he believed was being used to make meth.
JPD officer Brian Pilant responded to assist on the scene along with Deputy Brad Deckard of the Greene County Sheriff's Department and Cpl. Chad Crynes of the Linton Police Department.
The Indiana State Police Clandestine Lab Team was called into process the scene and Trooper Jon Patrick reported finding a red fire extinguisher that field tested positive for anhydrous ammonia along with a long list of other items of equipment and chemicals that are used in the manufacturing process.
Weidner was interviewed at the Jasonville Police Department while the lab team was working on the garage. The affidavit states that when Weidner was asked if he was in the process of making methamphetamine, he allegedly said it was done, but needed to be, "poured off," referring to the filtering process of manufacturing meth.
The jail log lists Weidner's home address in Trafalgar. He was initially held without bond until he appeared in court.
A criminal case was filed against Weidner in Greene County Circuit Court and he appeared before Judge Erik Allen Wednesday. He was charged with dealing in a controlled substance -- manufacture of methamphetamine, which is a class B felony.
Officer Van Horn said Weidner has a criminal history involving past drug convictions.
In October 2002, Weidner was convicted in Greene County of possession of methamphetamine.
In April 2004, he was convicted in Greene County of dealing in methamphetamine, and in July 2004, he was convicted in another county of dealing in methamphetamine.
Judge Allen set Weidner's bond at $50,000 surety only and placed a 15-day hold on Weidner before he is allowed to post bond.