Drugs

Man gets 11 years for $1M copper wire theft

November 26, 2014
 Associated Press
A northern Indiana man who admitted to stealing $1 million worth of copper wire from a recreational vehicle plant where he worked has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.
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Judges reverse drug charges based on constitutional violation

November 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed drug charges against two Bloomington men after finding the police detective’s actions unreasonable. The detectives entered the men’s property while looking for another person despite clear signs of "no trespassing."
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Attorney faces meth charges in 2 counties

November 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission seeks an emergency suspension of a Corydon lawyer’s license to practice.
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In affirming conviction, justices clarify required meth evidence

November 14, 2014
Dave Stafford
Authorities improperly charged a man with meth manufacturing based on the volume of an intermediate mixture, but other evidence was sufficient to affirm his conviction of Class A felony manufacturing methamphetamine, the Indiana Supreme Court held Thursday.
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Judges uphold denial of motion to suppress on rehearing

November 6, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals, after clarifying a point in their original opinion, still did not believe that a police detective tried to mislead a judge in order to obtain a search warrant. The judges upheld their original decision that affirmed the denial of a man’s motion to suppress evidence collected at his home following drug deals.
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Judge: Heroin use is driving explosion in CHINS filings

November 3, 2014
Dave Stafford
More than 25,000 Marion County youths have been referred to juvenile court this year for adjudication as children in need of services, an increase of more than 35 percent compared to last year.
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Man didn’t prove ineffective assistance of counsel

October 30, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court affirmed the denial of post-conviction relief for a man who charged his attorney was ineffective for not doing a better job arguing the sufficiency of the evidence to prove the defendant conspired to commit dealing cocaine.
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Judges say Circuit split requires clarification from sentencing commission

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A panel of judges on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a man’s 117-month prison sentence on drug and weapons charges, but two judges believed the case should have been heard en banc based on the importance of a sentencing issue.
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Officers’ entry into home to chase bloodied dog unreasonable, justices rule

October 22, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that drug evidence obtained by police after they entered a home without a warrant to capture an aggressive dog should not have been admitted at the defendant’s trial. The justices held the search violated Article I, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.
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Pain clinic head faces prescription investigation

October 21, 2014
 Associated Press
State officials want the medical license suspended for a doctor who runs a string of Indiana clinics over his prescribing of pain medications.
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Brother of former NFL player enters plea agreement

October 20, 2014
 Associated Press
The brother of a former NFL player has agreed under a deal with federal prosecutors to plead guilty to two counts of a 44-count indictment against him and receive a 14-year prison sentence.
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Drug abuse symposium attracts 800

October 17, 2014
IL Staff
About 800 Indiana health professional, lawmakers, law-enforcement officials and others gathered in Indianapolis Friday for the beginning of a two-day symposium focused on combating prescription drug abuse.
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Evidence doesn’t show existence of family housing complex at time of crime

October 8, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed a man’s Class A felony conviction for dealing cocaine within 1,000 feet of a family housing complex because the state didn’t prove the complex qualified as family housing under the law at the time of the offense.
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Federal prosecutors charge 22 in alleged drug ring

October 2, 2014
 Associated Press
Federal authorities said Wednesday they disrupted a major drug trafficking network stretching from Mexico to six U.S. states, and investigators partially credited a Chicago-based task force that focuses on the nexus between Mexican cartels and street gangs.
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Despite erroneous findings, termination of parental rights affirmed

September 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
A trial court entered erroneous findings in terminating the parental rights of a mother and father concerning two minor children, but the mistakes weren’t significant enough to reverse in a case where the state presented enough evidence to warrant the decision.
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Meth dealing conviction affirmed, restitution required

September 23, 2014
Dave Stafford
Convictions for dealing methamphetamine and two counts of neglect of a dependent were affirmed on appeal Tuesday, as was an order that the offender pay restitution to the state for the costs of cleaning up the meth lab.
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Judgment favoring policeman’s meth-exposure claim reversed

September 19, 2014
Dave Stafford
A police officer who claimed disability resulting from his work dismantling methamphetamine labs had a favorable trial court ruling reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals Friday.
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Court declines to review drug sentence based on new criminal code

September 11, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
A man who pleaded guilty earlier this year to dealing in oxycodone couldn’t convince the Indiana Court of Appeals that his sentence should be reconsidered based on the revised criminal code that took effect July 1.
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Defendant cleared 'low bar' to require reversal of summary judgment

September 10, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Supreme Court reversed summary judgment in favor of the state on its motion for forfeiture of cash found on a man accused of dealing cocaine. The justices found the man’s “self-serving” affidavit specifically controverted the state’s prima facie case that the cash was connected to drug crimes.
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Justices reverse conviction and sentence enhancement related to handgun

September 3, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
Because a man’s firearm enhancement is based on the same behavior used to convict and sentence him for carrying a handgun without a permit, the Indiana Supreme Court vacated the conviction and five-year enhancement.
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Termination of drug court placement over missed therapy affirmed

August 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A woman who missed several drug court mental health therapy sessions failed on appeal to prove she was wrongly terminated from the problem-solving court.
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Mail not hearsay, COA rules in affirming drug, gun convictions

August 26, 2014
Dave Stafford
A Fort Wayne man’s convictions on multiple cocaine-dealing and felony weapons charges were affirmed Tuesday after the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on an issue of first impression, indicating that he was not prejudiced by mail. Lamont Carpenter asserted the trial court abused its discretion when it admitted mail containing his name and address because it was hearsay.
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Negative drug test, prior accusations don’t change molester’s convictions

August 25, 2014
Dave Stafford
The Indiana Court of Appeals Monday affirmed the child molesting convictions and 30-year sentence of a man who claimed he was prejudiced because the trial court declined to admit a drug test from the victim showing she had no marijuana in her system.
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COA affirms man’s speedy trial request not violated

August 21, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Court of Appeals Thursday affirmed the 25-year sentence handed down to a man whose erratic driving led police to pull his vehicle over and discover cocaine on the passenger. The judges found his right to a fast and speedy trial was not violated and the evidence supports that he jointly possessed the cocaine.
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7th Circuit upholds drug convictions, remands for resentencing

August 19, 2014
Jennifer Nelson
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed three defendants’ convictions stemming from a cocaine distribution ring in Indianapolis but found that there were errors in sentencing the defendants.
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  4. Mr. Levin says that the BMV engaged in misconduct--that the BMV (or, rather, someone in the BMV) knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged fees but did nothing to correct the situation. Such misconduct, whether engaged in by one individual or by a group, is called theft (defined as knowingly or intentionally exerting unauthorized control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the other person of the property's value or use). Theft is a crime in Indiana (as it still is in most of the civilized world). One wonders, then, why there have been no criminal prosecutions of BMV officials for this theft? Government misconduct doesn't occur in a vacuum. An individual who works for or oversees a government agency is responsible for the misconduct. In this instance, somebody (or somebodies) with the BMV, at some time, knew Indiana motorists were being overcharged. What's more, this person (or these people), even after having the error of their ways pointed out to them, did nothing to fix the problem. Instead, the overcharges continued. Thus, the taxpayers of Indiana are also on the hook for the millions of dollars in attorneys fees (for both sides; the BMV didn't see fit to avail itself of the services of a lawyer employed by the state government) that had to be spent in order to finally convince the BMV that stealing money from Indiana motorists was a bad thing. Given that the BMV official(s) responsible for this crime continued their misconduct, covered it up, and never did anything until the agency reached an agreeable settlement, it seems the statute of limitations for prosecuting these folks has not yet run. I hope our Attorney General is paying attention to this fiasco and is seriously considering prosecution. Indiana, the state that works . . . for thieves.

  5. I'm glad that attorney Carl Hayes, who represented the BMV in this case, is able to say that his client "is pleased to have resolved the issue". Everyone makes mistakes, even bureaucratic behemoths like Indiana's BMV. So to some extent we need to be forgiving of such mistakes. But when those mistakes are going to cost Indiana taxpayers millions of dollars to rectify (because neither plaintiff's counsel nor Mr. Hayes gave freely of their services, and the BMV, being a state-funded agency, relies on taxpayer dollars to pay these attorneys their fees), the agency doesn't have a right to feel "pleased to have resolved the issue". One is left wondering why the BMV feels so pleased with this resolution? The magnitude of the agency's overcharges might suggest to some that, perhaps, these errors were more than mere oversight. Could this be why the agency is so "pleased" with this resolution? Will Indiana motorists ever be assured that the culture of incompetence (if not worse) that the BMV seems to have fostered is no longer the status quo? Or will even more "overcharges" and lawsuits result? It's fairly obvious who is really "pleased to have resolved the issue", and it's not Indiana's taxpayers who are on the hook for the legal fees generated in these cases.

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