July 17, 2012

4 p.m. UPDATE: More names released in area drug sting that nets 29 arrests, $39,000 cash, 10 cars and two jet skis

by Caitlin Huston

LOGANSPORT — Indiana State Police teams, in a combined investigation with the Logansport Police Department and the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, arrested 29 people Monday on federal and state felony drug charges and seized about 13 pounds of marijuana, LSD firearms, cocaine, $34,000 in cash and cars and jet skis.

Logansport Assistant Police Chief Carl Swan said Tuesday the investigation started in the Logansport Police Department in October 2011. Swan said the investigation later grew to include the Indiana State Police, the Illinois State Police, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Cass County Prosecutor’s Office, the Illinois Attorney General’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana, which led to arrests across several counties and state borders.

Swan said the other agencies were called in as officers realized that it was a multi-jurisdictional case that crossed state lines.  

Search warrants were issued in Carroll, Cass, Clinton, Howard, Miami, and Tippecanoe counties, in Indiana, and Iroquois and Vermillion counties in Illinois.

The Indiana State Police formed strike teams, involving 150 to 250 officers and including some Logansport Police Department officers. The strike teams spread out across the warrant areas and all served the warrants at 6 a.m. Monday morning.

The operation had a 100 percent target rate, meaning they captured all of the suspects they intended to find, as well as eight additional people, Swan said. Swan added that no one was injured in the


While serving the multiple warrants, officers seized about 13 pounds of suspected marijuana, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, firearms, a marijuana grow operation with about 200 plants, about 37 grams of suspected cocaine, $34,000 in cash, 10 vehicles, and two jet skis.

“Everything that was seized was allegedly used or obtained by criminal means,” Swan said.

Fourteen face federal charges for conspiracy to deal cocaine and marijuana: Joe Gibbs, 33, Kokomo; Laef Wade, 51, Logansport; Jose Patlan, 37, Logansport; Dale Marshall, 53, Logansport; Christopher Claisto, 40, Twelve Mile; Eric Arnold, 39, Macy; Robert Duff, 50, Delphi; Guillermo Patlan, 38, Milford; Brock Crowe, 36, Delphi; Lynn Little, 42, West Lafayette; Jose Nambo, 31, St. Anne, IL; Nora Guardiola, 34, Sheldon, IL; Jeremy Dyer, 30, Iroquois; and Andres Garcia, 55, Hoopeston.

Those charged locally at the state level were George Z. Setser, 37, Logansport, conspiracy to deal cocaine and conspiracy to deal marijuana; Dennis P. Wildrick, 37, Logansport, conspiracy to deal cocaine and conspiracy to deal marijuana; Matt T. Burkett, 38, Logansport, conspiracy to deal cocaine and conspiracy to deal marijuana; Jay D. Howell, 53, Logansport, conspiracy to deal marijuana; Michael Curtis, 52, Logansport, conspiracy to deal marijuana and maintaining a common nuisance; Denise Curtis, 42, Logansport, maintaining a common nuisance and conspiracy to deal marijuana;Kenneth Fox, 44, Logansport, cultivating marijuana and felony possession of marijuana; Patrick Fox, 46, Lake Cicott, dealing and cultivating marijuana; and Rodney Walters, 52, Delphi, was arrested on a felony charge for possession of marijuana and a misdemeanor count for possession of drug paraphernalia. He was not a target in the original investigation, according to police. Swan said because of the connections between those involved in the drug trade, police added more charges for some of the arrests and found additional suspects.

“You arrest one and two more show up,” Swan said.

Others arrested Monday include Charles Flaherty, 50, Lafayette, conspiracy to deal marijuana; Jimmy Marshall, 31, Donovan, conspiracy to deal marijuana and Brandon D. Kinser, 33, Frankfort, conspiracy to deal cocaine and marijuana. Three individuals were also arrested to face state felony charges in Illinois: Ricardo Guardia, 19, Illinois state charge for possession of cannabis; Jaremy Simms, 23, Illinois state charges for possession of a controlled substance with the intent to deliver within a 1,000 feet of a park, unlawful use of a weapon by a felon, and armed violence; and Wendy Stone, 32, Illinois state charge for possession of cannabis with intent to deliver.

The conspiracy charge means that the suspect was “one cog in the wheel” of selling or trafficking drugs, Swan said.


Visit Tuesday for updates and pick up Wednesday’s Pharos-Tribune for more details.