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15 nabbed in covert drug operation


July 17, 2013 | 09:13 AM

A two-year, multi-department investigation resulted in 15 people, including a former Crawford County sheriff, being arrested Friday on felony drug charges.

Conducted by the ISP Drug Enforcement Section, the Milltown Police Dept. and the Crawford County Prosecutor's Office, the covert investigation focused on the illicit sale and distribution of methamphetamine, marijuana, hydrocodone and methadone.

Of those arrested, 12 are from Crawford County, two are from Harrison County and one is from Perry County. Each was booked in their respective county's jail.

Among those arrested was Alvin Crecelius, 69, of Marengo, who served as sheriff in Crawford County in the 1990s.

Crecelius was charged with four Class B felony counts of dealing in a schedule III controlled substance. According to court records, he allegedly sold hydrocodone to a cooperating individual working with law enforcement three times in 2012 and once in 2013. Crecelius is being held on a $60,000 full cash bond.

Also arrested was Melissa (Kelly) Harmon, 38, of Marengo, who was charged with Class B felony conspiracy to deal schedule II controlled substance and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance. This was the second time in just more than four months that she was arrested on felony drug charges, as she was taken into custody in early March on Class B felony dealing in a schedule I, II or III controlled substance and Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance charges.

That arrest was part of the same investigation, which also saw four other people taken into custody, Crawford County Prosecutor Cheryl Hillenburg said.

Harmon's mother, Mary Harmon, 74, of Marengo, also was arrested Friday on two counts of Class B felony dealing in a schedule II controlled substance and two counts of Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance charges.

The elder Harmon is being held on a $30,000 full cash bond, while her daughter is being held on a $15,000 full cash bond.

"It's been ongoing for almost two years," Hillenburg said of the covert investigation, adding that each agency involved has worked hard to ensure its success.

In addition to the ISP and MPD, the Crawford County Sheriff's Dept., U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division helped serve the Class A and B felony arrest warrants.

"I appreciate all the cooperation and work that went into this investigation, including the sheriff's department, the state police, the conservation officers and Milltown," she said. "Some incredible amount of work from different agencies."

Hillenburg said Crawford County has a "serious drug problem," but officials are hoping to make an impact.

Others arrested Friday included the following:

•Charles Becht, 48, Milltown, Class B felony dealing methamphetamine under three grams, Class C felony dealing in a schedule IV controlled substance, Class D felony dealing marijuana over 30 grams and Class A misdemeanor dealing marijuana under 30 grams; $35,000 full cash bond.

•Jeremy D. Byerly, 37, Marengo, Class A felony dealing methamphetamine over three grams; $50,000 full cash bond.

•Gail Dillard, 48, Marengo, two counts of Class B felony dealing in a schedule II controlled substance and two counts of Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance; $45,000 full cash bond.

•James H. Graham, 50, English, two counts of Class B felony dealing in a schedule III controlled substance; $20,000 full cash bond.

•Carl Hines, 69, St. Croix, Class C felony dealing in a schedule IV controlled substance; released on bond.

•Jennifer McDaniel, 41, Ramsey, Class B felony dealing in a schedule II controlled substance and two counts of Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance; $10,000 full cash bond.

•Scot McDaniel, 52, Ramsey, Class B felony dealing in a schedule II controlled substance, two counts of Class C felony dealing in a schedule IV controlled substance and three counts of Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance; $50,000 full cash bond.

•Kenny Mills, 46, Milltown, Class D felony dealing in marijuana over 30 grams; $7,500 full cash bond.

•Cordellia Patton, 58, English, Class C felony dealing schedule IV controlled substance; $10,000 full cash bond.

•Lisa Pittman, 42, Marengo, Class B felony dealing in a schedule III controlled substance; released on $15,000 full cash bond.

•Ricky Pittman, 52, Marengo, two counts of Class B felony dealing in a schedule III controlled substance; released on $30,000 full cash bond.

•Esther Smith, 55, Marengo, two counts of Class B felony dealing in a schedule II controlled substance and two counts of Class D felony maintaining a common nuisance; $30,000 full cash bond.

Others arrested in March as part of the same investigation were:

•Jackie M. Boynton, 58, English, Class B felony, dealing in a schedule I, II or III controlled substance.

•Bridget McKinney, 29, English, Class B felony, dealing in a schedule I, II or III controlled substance.

•Michael W. Pouw Jr., 38, Birdseye, Class D felony, illegal sale of a legend drug.

•Larry Troiani, 66, English, two counts of Class B felony, dealing in a schedule I, II or III controlled substance.

  1. print email
    Brave men and women.
    July 18, 2013 | 11:53 AM

    Praise God for the brave men and women of law enforcement who rescued these poor souls from an environment of drugs. Hopefully they can turn their lives around and become productive members of society.

    John
  2. print email
    July 18, 2013 | 12:49 PM

    Hope the judge in Crawford County throws the book at them. In Harrison County, they would only get a smack on the hand.

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