Corydon, Marengo men among arrestees
Indiana State Police Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Section Sgt. Greg Day and Indiana State Police DES Detective Josh Allen were contacted Feb. 6 about a burglary that had occurred in Mitchell following the initial report of the crime on Feb. 2 when a former business, utilized as a personal maintenance shop, had been broken into and almost $40,000 worth of tools, tool boxes and other equipment had been stolen.
Day and Allen learned that a few of the items were for sale on craigslist, and the troopers were able to arrange a meeting in Bedford to possibly “buy” the items. Once the suspects arrived, Allen could see the stolen toolboxes in the bed of their truck.
Day, along with Trooper Richard Klun, arrived and detained three suspects, who were identified as Thomas Van Winkle of Marengo and Brady Ferguson and Jacklyn Wallace, both of Orleans. During the encounter, Van Winkle was found to have in his possession approximately 3 grams of suspected methamphetamine. It was also discovered he was wanted on multiple felony warrants out of Crawford County. Troopers also located three Snap-On toolboxes and other items that had been stolen.
A search warrant for a blood draw was obtained for Van Winkle, who had driven to the location after allegedly ingesting methamphetamine. Van Winkle was arrested for the warrant at that time and the investigation continued.
Troopers were able to determine that multiple burglaries occurred at the aforementioned property. The suspects had allegedly made at least three separate trips to steal items on those nights.
On Feb. 7, Day, Klun and DES Detective Zack Robbins were able to utilize a variety of investigative techniques and recover almost all of the stolen items. They recovered more than $35,000 worth of the items from properties near Huron, Paoli and Marengo, including the residences of Van Winkle and Ferguson.
All of the stolen property was returned to the owners.
Arrest warrants were issued for Van Winkle, Ferguson and Wallace.
On Feb. 11, Trooper Tyler Trueblood went to the Crawford County Jail and served Van Winkle’s new warrant on him since he was already being held there for the previous warrant.
On Feb. 14, Day, Klun, Trueblood and troopers Kaitlyn Greene and Chance Humphrey located Ferguson and Wallace. as they drove through Paoli and a traffic stop was conducted. Both Ferguson and Wallace were taken into custody.
In addition, a third occupant of the vehicle was identified as Kerry Williams of Corydon. He was found to have in his possession suspected marijuana, drug paraphernalia and just over 10 grams of suspected methamphetamine that was packaged in a manner consistent with dealing the drug.
Ferguson, Wallace and Williams were arrested and incarcerated at the Orange County Jail. Once at the jail, it was discovered that Wallace had suspected methamphetamine and a pipe concealed in a bodily cavity. She faced additional new charges for that offense.
Van Winkle, 43, is charged with three counts of burglary of a structure, a Level 5 felony; three counts of theft and possession of methamphetamine, all Level 6 felonies; and operating a vehicle with a controlled substance in the body, a Class C misdemeanor.
Williams, 58, faces charges of dealing methamphetamine over 10 grams, a Level 2 felony; possession of methamphetamine over 10 grams, a Level 4 felony; possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor.
Ferguson, 28, is charged with three counts of burglary of a structure, a Level 5 felony, and three counts of theft, a Level 6 felony.
Wallace, 32, faces charges of two counts of burglary of a structure, a Level 5 felony; two counts of theft, possession of methamphetamine and trafficking with an inmate, all Level 6 felonies; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor.
“It is always a good day when we can get justice for innocent victims,” Day said. “This is sadly another reminder of how methamphetamine and drug use is not a victimless crime. Unfortunately, those struggling with addiction often turn to commit burglaries and thefts to pay for their habit.”