Tony V. Martin | The Times
David Capp, acting U.S.
attorney for the Northern District of Indiana,
Wednesday leads a news conference announcing the arrests
made in Tuesday's meth lab sting.
Capp is surrounded by
several law enforcement leaders involved in the
4 on run in meth crackdown
By Ken Kosky
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Those involved in Tuesday morning's massive raid on
methamphetamine labs and take-down of suspected drug
traffickers hope they've made a difference in the fight
against what is rapidly becoming one of the most
Of the 37 people named in federal indictments, 32 had
been arrested and the 33rd was making arrangements to
surrender as of noon Wednesday. Most are from Porter,
Jasper and Lake counties.
Officials asked for the public's help in finding four
others in connection with the investigation.
In addition, law enforcement executed six federal search
warrants, taking down meth labs and confiscating
More than 100 local, state and federal law enforcement
officers participated in Tuesday's operation, which
followed a 17-month investigation.
"We all pull the oars in same direction ... to eliminate
the scourge of hard drugs from the community," Porter
County Prosecutor Brian Gensel said.
David Capp, acting U.S. attorney for the Northern
District of Indiana, said the meth operation "was a
multistate operation with methamphetamine coming out of
Indiana going elsewhere, and methamphetamine coming into
Indiana from some of these other states."
Much of the meth activity locally centered around Jasper
County and southern Porter County. Kouts Police Chief
Joe Kirk and Jasper County Sheriff Orville Perry both
said they didn't have the resources to get to the bottom
of a massive drug network.
Authorities would not comment on whether the operation
was tied to organized motorcycle gangs, which are
sometimes associated with drug trafficking.
Kirk and Perry said by working with federal authorities
they were able to make their communities safer.
Capp said small towns like Kouts, Hebron and Wheatfield
are getting hit especially hard by meth. He said the
drug not only harms those who make and use it, it
threatens the health of those living near meth labs and
it threatens the environment.
"Methamphetamine is an extremely destructive chemical,
both physically and mentally," Capp said, adding it can
be made using over-the-counter medicine and household
"Methamphetamine is rapidly becoming one of our biggest
national drug problems."
The 65 count indictment alleges a conspiracy to
distribute 500 grams or more of meth from January 2004
to June 2008, as well as a conspiracy to distribute 100
kilograms of marijuana from November 2006 to June 2008.
The indictment also alleges illegal gun possession and
illegal meth manufacturing. Most of the people were
charged with being part of the conspiracy to manufacture
and distribute meth or were charged with possessing
pseudoephedrine, a cold remedy used as a meth
The indictment names two meth labs in Kouts, one it says
belongs to suspect Stacey "Weirdo" Judd at 171 E. County
Road 700 South and the other it says belongs to Kathleen
"Kat" Conley at 1274 S. County Road 600 East.
"I'm excited we were able to stop this organized level
of criminal activity," Porter County Sheriff David Lain
"At the same time it saddens me. We know this is just
another step in the process. We know the problem isn't