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Dennis Asher of the Harrison County Sheriff's Dept., right, talks to Matthew Hannel of Corydon after Hannel was one of almost 30 people arrested as part of Operation NASTIER (Narcotics Apprehension Suppression Through Interdiction Eradication Repeat) early Tuesday morning. Photo by Alan Stewart (click for larger version)

26 arrested in NASTIER sting

December 11, 2013 | 09:44 AM

Christmas music filled the air at the Harrison County Sheriff's Dept. early yesterday (Tuesday) as at least 26 people from Harrison, Floyd and Clark counties in Indiana and Louisville received — temporarily — shiny silver bracelets and a free ride in a police car just before being processed for various felony drug-related charges as part of Operation NASTIER (Narcotics Apprehension Suppression Through Interdiction Eradication Repeat).

Operation NASTIER was an eight-month narcotics investigation, with a total of 33 warrants being issued. Of those being charged, 26 had taken part in undercover drug transactions.

Not all of the individuals targeted were at home at the time of the sting, but their time is coming, Harrison County Sheriff Rodney (Rod) Seelye said. He added that some individuals were already incarcerated for other crimes.

In November of last year, Operation NASTI (Narcotics Apprehension Suppression Through Intervention) resulted in almost 20 arrests. Topping the mark of 20 was a goal of HCSD Chief Wayne Kessinger, and the mark of 26 makes NASTIER the largest single-day drug bust in the county's history.

"Next year, if we continue to have people selling drugs in our county, you can bank on Operation NASTIEST coming along," Seelye said.

A briefing started at about 4 a.m., then 40 officers — including detectives, road officers, corrections officers and reserves — hit the streets in teams of two to serve the arrest warrants.

Officer Dennis Asher was among those who took part in the bust, with his first arrest being made just before 5 a.m.

With a reserve officer covering a door on the opposite side of a home near Regina Lane in Corydon, Asher knocked on a door several times before Matthew Hannel appeared and asked who Asher was there to see.

"You," Asher replied. "Open the door."

Groggy-eyed, Hannel opened the door and Asher told him to place his hands behind his back so he could be handcuffed. After presenting the warrant and being given consent to search by Hannel's wife, who Asher said was "extremely, extremely upset" at her husband, Asher looked inside the home for drugs and found none. Later, Hannel was placed in the back of Asher's cruiser and transported to the Harrison County Justice Center for processing.

Asher also arrested Shawn M. Daugherty, who lives along Corydon-Ramsey Road north of Corydon.

On his ride to the Justice Center, Daugherty said he was selling marijuana "for a friend" and received no payment from the friend for the sale. Daugherty, who said he didn't use marijuana, said the transaction took place on the north side of the Old Capitol Centre parking lot.

Most of those arrested were charged with some type of trafficking of a controlled substance, with the drugs being heroin, methamphetamine, pills such as hydrocodone and oxycodone, and marijuana.

"If you are selling drugs in this county, we'll reach out and touch you wherever you are," Seelye said. "Ninety percent of the people in our jail have drug-addiction issues, and that's a driving force in all of our crime. In almost every single instance, drugs and addiction are the driving force in our burglary and robberies and everything else. This impacts every element of crime in our community."

Seelye thanked the many agencies taking part in the operation, including the Harrison County Prosecutor's Office, U.S. Marshals, Crawford County Sheriff's Dept., Lanesville Police Dept. and New Albany Police Dept.

Among those charged as part of NASTIER were:

Randall Ewing, 61, 9500 block of Cross Creek Drive, Greenville;

Jonathon Ewing, 21, 9500 block of Cross Creek Drive, Greenville;

Tyler Ewing, 18, 9500 block of Cross Creek Drive, Greenville;

Judith Hopper, 51, 3700 block of Totten Ford Road, Depauw;

Travis Martin, 18, 12000 block of Main Street, Mauckport;

Richard Skaggs, 23, 8200 block of Clover Valley Road, Ramsey;

Thomas Roberts, 18, 12000 block of Walnut Street, Mauckport;

Kendrick Decker, 23, 500 block of Rocky Meadow Road, New Salisbury;

Brandon Gibson, 22, 100 block of S.R. 62, Corydon;

Randy Arnold, 52, 1400 block of Corydon Ridge Road, Corydon;

Tiffany Patton, 29, 1600 block of Sival Road, Ramsey;

Terry VanFleet Jr., 35, 4400 block Whiskey Run Road, Georgetown;

Walter Davis, 48, 600 block of Lost Creek Road, New Salisbury;

Michael Williams, 38, 4000 block of John Arthur Road, Palmyra;

Wanda Shain, 78, 1300 block of Regina Lane, Corydon;

Tracy Reynolds, 43, 2900 block of Fifth Street, English;

Tracie Alday, 51, 3900 block of McClure Road, Leavenworth;

Matthew Hannel, 28, 1300 block of Regina Lane, Corydon;

Terry Pulley Jr., 23, 1800 block of Brown Cunningham Road, Corydon;

James Schaffer, 62, 4600 block of Creekside Drive, Greenville;

Shawn Daugherty, 24, 4100 of Corydon-Ramsey Road, Corydon;

Carrie Wisman, 35, 2000 block of Fourth Street, New Middletown;

William Berkley, 36, 3000 block of Crandall-Lanesville Road, Lanesville; and

Brett Timberlake, 23, 400 block of Lemmon Street, Corydon.

Other arrests are pending, and some charged as part of NASTIER were already incarcerated, Seelye said.

Everyone arrested has the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

Twitter: @_alanstewart

  1. print email
    December 12, 2013 | 09:42 AM

    Well done!

  2. print email
    December 12, 2013 | 12:27 PM

    Good job to the sheriff's department!

  3. print email
    December 12, 2013 | 01:25 PM

    I am not impressed! Harrison County is known for being lenient on drug offenders, especially if they rat on other people.

  4. print email
    Keep it up!
    December 12, 2013 | 01:51 PM

    Good to see this aggressive stance on drug dealing in our county!

    Guess there aren't any offenders in southern Harrison county :)

    I think this large arrest move will open the eyes of a lot of county residents who don't realize how prevalent meth is in our county. I have mixed feelings about the those involved in the marijuana. It won't be long before marijuana is decrimalized/legalized, and law enforcement can concentrate on the drugs that routinely destroy lives.

    Keep up the good work!

  5. print email
    dennis asher
    December 12, 2013 | 08:44 PM

    Way to go cousin very proud of ya and harrison co. Sheriff dept.

  6. print email
    December 12, 2013 | 09:17 PM

    Thank you HCPD for making a statement against drug dealers in our community! Can't wait to see the NASTIEST bust in the future.

  7. print email
    December 13, 2013 | 02:04 AM

    There was so many issues with this (SMH)Harrison county even put a 78 year old woman in jail wonder how you guys do it to people ... I have to say good job getting the pills off the streets and meth but whats the point of putting them behind bars??? Y not help them with rehab???? not put them behind bars make them loose there minds and drain there money... plus right before Christmas..... sorry but sad... I didn't see any major dealers just a bunch of older folks trying to get by in Harrison county and kids that needed help with a drug problem NOT DEALERS!!! I even heard along the line there where 2 18 year old boys found a pot field (THAT WAS NOT THERE'S) and told the Police where it was and they where still fully charged for it.... Guess they feel good there on the front page ....again very sad ... put kids that never grown up and old folks barely living in jail take there money and make them look bad... but last thing I'm going to say.... Christmas music filled the air at the Harrison County Sheriff's Dept. early yesterday (Tuesday) as at least 26 people from Harrison, Floyd and Clark counties in Indiana and Louisville received "" temporarily "" shiny silver bracelets and a free ride in a police car... Hope that makes you feel jolly it makes me sick find DRUG LORDS NOT USERS!!!!!! SMH! HELP THEM

  8. print email
    December 13, 2013 | 02:12 AM

    To be honest this was a waste of tax payers money! The majority of these people are not even drug dealers. Simply drug users who got set up by other drug users to get out of their punishment! If these were all real drug dealers, the majority of them would of had possession charges along with their charges. Instead of wasting tax payers dollars on arresting the Addicts lets spend the money on getting them treatment for their addiction. Less addicts equals less consumers for the real drug dealers! Instead these People with addictions that got arrested and labeled as "Drug Dealers" are facing maximum sentences that are longer than a MURDER charges, RAPE charges, and CHILD MOLESTATION charges!.

  9. print email
    December 13, 2013 | 02:20 AM

    And by the way 12 of these people are between the ages of 18 and 28, facing a maximum sentence of 30 to 60 years! What happened to people getting a second chance! We are all Human! We all make mistakes...

    Open Your Eyes
  10. print email
    Thank You
    December 13, 2013 | 08:04 AM

    Thank you HCP. I read people complain about this like the last, but I feel safer without any of these people related to drugs around. Bless you all in the department this coming year!

    Proud Tax Payer
  11. print email
    December 13, 2013 | 11:54 AM

    Are some of you people stupid? "Oh they are just drug users, not the sellers." Yeah, and chances are they can't get a job or have a low paying one. Know how they feed their habit? They steal stuff. Your stuff. My stuff. Your family's stuff. Second chances? NO thanks!!! The people who are asking for that stuff or are saying big deal are probably dopeheads themselves. Keep it up Sheriff. Hopefully you'll wind up with some of these trolls on this feedback visiting you soon!

    GREAT JOB to our police!!!!

  12. print email
    Help at What Cost?
    December 13, 2013 | 01:40 PM

    Using drugs is against the law but everyone admits that these people have a problem. Why are news crews being called and these people put on display? No matter what these people may have done they and their families are part of this community and shouldn't be used a media opportunity because an election is next year.

  13. print email
    December 13, 2013 | 07:57 PM

    This is so idiotic! At least four of these people I know for a fact were nothing more than stoners. The police waited until the sting to arrest them when all they really needed was a citation and a date to come back to court! They only did it to get numbers and make the police station appear like they are something special. That's is all fine and dandy but there was no need to degrade these people on the news, no need to plaster their faces on the every social media site, and no need for WHAS11 to say that there were 33 drug dealers when I am sure half of them were not! Harrison county police officers do their job, protect us and and DID get some nasty ones off the streets, which we are all grateful for ... I am not saying that all of these people deserve second chances or pity, but for the few of them that are victims of the police station needing to feel special and have big numbers, I feel sorry for you and your families! We ARE all human and we do all make mistakes but to break families apart before Christmas is a new kind of low I did not think Harrison County had in them, but alas I was wrong.

    Sad to be a Harrison County Resident
  14. print email
    December 13, 2013 | 09:18 PM

    Do you really think the media being there was for reelection purposes (remember the election is a year away). Any chance the coverage is meant to dissuade folks from dealing drugs in Harrison County? If I got the jest of the segments I saw on the news, it was that regardless of where they have to go to pick them up, if they were selling drugs in Harrison County, they were going to get arrested. As far as the people needing help rather than jail, do you really think they are going to seek help without first having a pretty good reason to? It's unfortunate that so many people were choosing to break the law. However, I am glad we have a sheriff who is finally enforcing the law rather than break it.

  15. print email
    December 14, 2013 | 01:06 PM

    The only disservice many of these criminals will get is inadequate representation in court at the cost of the tax payers. We'll make sure that gets fixed by electing the right officials in the next election.

  16. print email
    December 16, 2013 | 08:50 AM

    It is interesting to read all the comments by the stoners and drug dealers defending those who were arrested. Stoners and drug dealers steal to support their habits. The majority of those in jail are drug users.

    I want it plastered all over the news media so other stoners and drug dealers will have second thoughts about coming to Harrison County.

    Drug use destroys brain cells. You can tell that by some of the comments supporting the stoners and dealers.

    Keep up the good work Sheriff!

  17. print email
    There is hope...
    December 16, 2013 | 12:19 PM

    My daughter was arrested on drug charges in Harrison County (not as a part of NASTIER) and I am so grateful to them for doing for her what her family could not do. She is now in a residential treatment program and 5 months clean.

    Citing them and giving court date after court date will not end the cycle. It takes an arrest and time in jail to wake up some people.

    Sherriff Seelye, keep up the good work.

    Resident & Parent
Debby Broughton
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