By GEORGE KUNKE
SOUTH BEND – Like the local economy, the local police beat has been slower than usual with a lot of crimes. But there still has been a significant number of arrests in the fight against methamphetamine. And, Pacific County Superior Court remains as busy as Grand Central Station with drug cases and other crimes. Methamphetamine court cases and arrests have been very prevalent of late.
Yes, the local drug task force is making a dent in the fight against meth. There are numerous court cases of meth users and dealers.
“We're really rolling up the meth (arrests),” Raymond Police Chief Chuck Spoor told the Herald. “I don't think there's as much local production (of meth) as there used to be. There's still some local production. But by the appearance of the stuff we're seeing, I don't think it is made locally.”
“There really hasn't been anything outstanding as far as arrests go,” South Bend Police Chief Dave Eastham said. “Activity is always down during wintertime.”
Chief Eastham pointed out that a meth arrest was made during a call on a domestic violence case.
“The Drug Task Force has been busy,” Eastham said. “David Woods was arrested on a domestic violence assault 2 charge and he was found with a large amount of meth on him. He had over 30 grams of meth.” Woods' bail was set at $150,000.
Last Wednesday a woman caused some commotion by walking into a South Bend business without any pants on. Chief Eastham said the woman could have been killed.
“It was a crisis situation because of her dodging logging trucks on (Highway) 101,” Eastham said. “She went into a business and was cleaning a area with no pants on. I don't believe she was on drugs or anything. I think she is just (mentally deficient). ” For her own protection, Eastham turned the woman over to the local mental health authorities.
Arrested on Meth Charges
On the first day of the year, Randay Jimenez-Medina, 28, and Colby Watts, 27, both of South Bend, were arrested on methamphetemine charges. Sheriff's deputies with the Pacific County Drug Task Force served a narcotics related search warrant in the residential block of 100 Jackson St. in South Bend. Assisting with arrest were the Raymond and South Bend police departments.
Jimenez-Medina was booked into county Jail on one count of possession of methamphetamine and four counts of delivery of methamphetamine. Watts was booked on two counts of delivery of methamphetamine, one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver and for two counts of using a building for drug purposes. Jimenez-Medina’s bail was set at $25,000 and Watts’ bail was set at $20,000.
Jimenez-Medina was arraigned Friday and entered a plea of not guilty. His next hearing is January 24.
In Superior Court last Friday, Danyelle M. Stigar, 34, of South Bend entered a guilty plea to delivery of methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine. Stigar had been the subject of a Pacific County Drug Task Force investigation conducted by Deputy Ryan Tully.
“Deputy Tully’s investigation revealed that Ms. Stigar had been selling methamphetamine out of a home on Kendrick Street in South Bend near the school, and he was able to introduce a confidential informant to Ms. Stigar, who sold the informant methamphetamine,” Chief Deputy Prosecutor Mark McClain told the Herald. “Deputy Tully’s investigation allowed us to take a drug dealer off the street in a location very close schools.”
Judge Michael Sullivan sentenced Stigar to 3 years in prison followed by a term of community custody, which will require drug treatment.
“We were pleased with Judge Sullivan’s sentence and feel it was justified under the circumstances,” McClain added.
In yet another drug case, Amanda A. Hanson failed to complete Drug Court and, as a result, entered a guilty plea to possession of methamphetamine.
“It’s always disappointing when someone fails to complete the 15-month-long Drug Court program, which requires, among other things, completion of chemical dependency treatment, but she has and is now found guilty of a felony,” McClain said. “Ms. Hanson will be on supervision with the Department of Corrections and will be required to complete treatment as part of her probation.”
Robert L. Jordan Jr., of 22, of Long Beach was sentenced to 1 year in prison for possession of methamphetamine. According to McClain, law enforcement officers contacted Jordan while investigating a stolen property offense. Jordan had a warrant for his arrest on an unrelated matter and was taken into custody. Jordan was searched incident to his arrest and methamphetamine was located on his person.
“Mr. Jordan agreed to an aggravated sentence, which resulted in a year in prison followed by community custody; he will be required to complete treatment following his release from prison,” McClain said. “Mr. Jordan told the judge that he hoped he would ‘grow up’ over this experience.” Judge Michael Sullivan agreed stating, “I hope so as well,” and followed the sentence recommendation of a year in prison.
Gabriel A. Garvin, was arraigned and entered a not guilty plea. Garvin is charged with delivery of methamphetamine and escape.
Justin Bryce Finlay requested that the court reconsider its decision granting the state’s motion to revoke an SOC (Stipulated Order of Continuance, which is an agreement whereby Finlay is required to complete certain requirements — community service and alcohol treatment — and if successful there would be a reduction from attempting to elude a police vehicle to reckless driving, according to McClain. The matter was continued to February 14 for further argument.
Randy James Jamieson Jr. entered a guilty plea was was sentenced. “Mr. Jamieson will be required to undergo sex offender treatments and will be required to register as a sex offender,” McClain said, said Mark McClain, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. “The victim’s mother was in agreement of the resolution, which will also require no contact with the victim or her mother for 10 years,” McClain added.
John Edward Wagner entered a guilty plea to unlawful possession of a firearm in the second degree and was sentenced to 1 year in prison.
“Mr. Wagner was the passenger in a vehicle which had been stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence,” McClain said. “Upon further investigation, a bullet was located and the driver indicated that the passenger, and owner of the vehicle, had a pistol, which officers located. Given Mr. Wagner’s criminal history, a prison sentence was appropriate and we hope that this will send the message to those who illegally possess firearms that doing so, even for a brief moment, will be prosecuted and face a prison sentence.”
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