Johnson County Sheriff Duane Burgess answers a question during a drug roundup press conference Wednesday, March 16, 2022, at Franklin Police Department.
LEEANN DOERFLEIN | DAILY JOURNAL
Before the sun came up Wednesday, local police were canvassing the county for 31 individuals in the second drug roundup in six months.
Multiple agencies came together for the roundup, a collaboration between the Franklin Police Department, Greenwood Police Department, Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office.
The roundup netted 20 arrests in less than six hours; 11 people remain at large, Johnson County Prosecutor Joe Villanueva said during a Wednesday afternoon news conference. Those arrested were taken to the Johnson County jail Wednesday morning.
The agencies also received help from the Edinburgh Police Department and Marion County Sheriff’s Office, which served warrants to people who live in their jurisdictions and transported them to the Johnson County jail.
Franklin Police Sgt. Tony Povinelli and many undercover officers across all county agencies were instrumental in putting together this roundup, said Kirby Cochran, Franklin police chief.
“These kinds of cooperative and collaborative efforts are really unique to Johnson County. We don’t see this everywhere in the state. You kind of have an attitude in different places of ‘not my jurisdiction, not my problem.’ Here in Johnson County, we have the opposite; it is ‘how can I become involved and how can I help,’” Villanueva said.
Local police will continue to search for the wanted individuals who have warrants out for their arrests. The 11 individuals who are still at large are asked to turn themselves in because local police will find them eventually, he said.
Men and women between the ages of 20 and 67 were arrested, including relatives, Villanueva said. Those arrested are from all over the county, and from places nearby including Indianapolis, Greenfield, Taylorsville and Nashville.
Methamphetamine-related charges make up the bulk of the arrests, with 33 charges among those arrested. Other offenses include five charges for heroin, two for fentanyl, two for suboxone, and one each for oxycodone, marijuana and a look-a-like substance.
Several had non-drug charges added, including a gun charge and conversion, because the individual took money from an individual and did not provide drugs, officials said.
The roundup netted additional charges for 10 of those arrested, with most being narcotics-related, Villanueva said.
A Sept. 15 drug roundup was the first since October 2019, as police opted for smaller busts during the pandemic.
“The four of us sitting here, we’ve all been fairly steadfast in our commitment to fight the war on drugs and trying to keep our people and our community safe from that,” Villanueva said. “So when we talk about what we are doing, that is just our latest effort, a reflection of that commitment we have to the community.”
From the last roundup to this one, officers never stopped building cases, Sheriff Duane Burgess said.
“I see Greenwood PD, Franklin PD, the sheriff’s office and other agencies are every day working with undercover sources. It doesn’t stop. It is daily, hour by hour, working to get these individuals,” Burgess said.
To put less stress on the county jail and courts system, they will continue to do smaller roundups, Villanueva said.
“One of the reasons we had this now was logistics and, you know, the number of cases. Back in the day, we had that 120-person bust and it was great but it was, logistically, a nightmare,” Villanueva said. “It also had people who were facing dealing charges out on the street for much longer than they otherwise would have if we weren’t trying to get that kind of number. There’s not really a set time when we have them. Part of this is that you never know when they’re going to come.”
Another benefit of the smaller roundups is that a shorter time frame will pass between the incident and arrest. So, people who are convicted also have a quicker path to possible sentencing that could get them help for their addictions while incarcerated, said James Ison, Greenwood police chief.
“One of the things we don’t want to do is drag this out for a year or 18 months,” he said. “With charges on them for that period of time, sometimes they’ve gotten clean and back in society, but now we are putting them in jail for something they did 18 months ago. Yes, they committed a crime, but it becomes counter-productive at that point.”
Whether fighting narcotics or other crimes, this group of leaders works better together than any he has seen. If any chief or Burgess needs anything, they know they can call on each other for help, officials said.
“We are working hard to protect our borders in Johnson County,” Burgess said. “We have people coming in from surrounding counties to commit crimes. We don’t want those folks here. We are going to continue to work hard to protect our residents.”
Holding the individuals responsible is not just about tallying up arrests, but also about making each community safer, Ison said.
“This isn’t just about making arrests. This is about the lives that are affected by drugs in our communities,” he said. “In Greenwood alone last year, our officers responded to 108 overdose calls. That’s 108 families that are in turmoil. This poison is killing our children, destroying families and it is the driving force behind many property crimes.”
These concerted efforts highlight local law enforcement’s dedication to getting drugs off the streets, Ison said.
“All law enforcement officers in this county have one common message: If you bring this poison into our communities, we are going to put you in prison,” he said.
Officers encounter overdoses frequently, and they’re tired of it, Burgess said.
“They’re seizing, they’re OD’ing and I’m sick and tired of that for the parents and the loved ones. That’s something that leaves an impression on you,” he said. “It is hard to get those people off of those drugs, and one way that we can help is to take these drug dealers off the street.”
Another goal is to help the alleged dealers recover and avoid re-incarceration and further strain on the community. For high-level dealing sentences, the goal is to get a sentence in the Indiana Department of Corrections to get them access to the best possible drug treatment programming, Villanueva said.
“Some say, ‘you can’t arrest your way out of the drug problem,’ and I agree with that to some extent,” he said. “But I think it is a good place to start to get these people involved and in a place that they can really just dry out and have their minds clear from the drug haze.”
The following individuals were wanted on the following charges as part of Wednesday’s drug roundup:
Angela M. Anderson, 46, of Indianapolis, two counts dealing methamphetamine.
Sylvanna L. Anderson, 33, of Franklin, two counts dealing methamphetamine.
Desiree Balsley, 37, of Indianapolis, dealing methamphetamine.
William H. Bowker, Jr., 67, of Taylorsville, dealing methamphetamine.
Brandon L. Broaddus, 29, of Greenwood, dealing methamphetamine.
Nathan R. Brosseit, 26, of Greenfield, three counts dealing methamphetamine.
Marcus L. Bryant, 38, of Indianapolis, two counts dealing methamphetamine.
Stephen J. Carlisle, 20, of Greenwood, dealing methamphetamine.
Deena M. Coryell, 44, of Greenwood, two counts of dealing methamphetamine.
Austin N. Craig, 21, of Franklin, two counts dealing methamphetamine.
Ralph T. Davis, 38, of Franklin, dealing methamphetamine.
Daniel R. Duke, 28, of Franklin, dealing methamphetamine.
Austin W. Eldridge, 25, of Franklin, dealing methamphetamine.
Stephanie A. Fee, 44, of Indianapolis, two counts dealing methamphetamine.
Brian C. Flint, 48, of Greenwood, two counts dealing methamphetamine.
Tuesday E. Floring, 32, of Greenwood, dealing methamphetamine.
Joshua M. Ford, 26, of Franklin, dealing methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a firearm.
Joshua D. Goffer, 29, of Greenwood, dealing a controlled substance.
Jacob L. Gibson, 26, of Greenfield, two counts dealing methamphetamine.
Brandon R. Goodlet, 43, of Indianapolis, two counts dealing a narcotic drug.
Karen E. Hill, 43, of Indianapolis, dealing methamphetamine.
Cody M. Hunt, 22, of Greenwood, dealing a counterfeit substance.
Juanita S. King, 37, of Indianapolis, conspiracy to commit dealing methamphetamine.
Cherie L. Lawson, 43, of Nashville, dealing methamphetamine.
Christopher D. Lloyd, 32, of Edinburgh, dealing methamphetamine.
Samantha L. McDougalle, 48, of Indianapolis, two counts dealing a narcotic drug.
Samantha N. Skinner, 32, of Greenwood, conspiracy to commit dealing methamphetamine and two counts of dealing methamphetamine.
Jason A. Starnes, 32, of Indianapolis, two counts dealing a controlled substance.
Staci L. Wheeler, 59, of Indianapolis, dealing a narcotic drug.
Ashley, M. Wiley, 33, of Greenwood, dealing a narcotic drug.
Keith A. Wiley, 36, of New Whiteland, aiding in dealing a narcotic drug, conversion.
Nobody covers Johnson County and the surrounding areas like the Daily Journal.
30 S. Water St., Second floor, Suite A, Franklin, IN 46131
Phone: (317) 736-7101
Toll free: (888) 736-7101
Contact us: [email protected]