Woman faces meth-dealing charges

A Bartholomew County woman faces two felony counts of dealing methamphetamine.

Both involve meetings in retail stores, where drug transactions took place.

Laura L. Hiles, 36, was booked into the Bartholomew County Jail on two warrants, according to her jail booking report. That was following her transfer from the Jennings County Jail.

One warrant, issued by Bartholomew Superior Court 1 Judge James Worton, charges Hiles with two counts of dealing in methamphetamine as Level 4 and 5 felonies.

Both involve the exchange of $200 in cash for more than 2 grams of methamphetamine last year, according to a probable-cause affidavit.

An Aug. 13 incident, which involved a police informant, took place in the restroom of a convenience store near U.S. 31 and State Road 7, the affidavit stated.

An undercover narcotics detective was involved in the second incident, which took place Oct. 28 in a retail store near 25th Street and Taylor Road, the affidavit said.

The second warrant, also signed by Worton, charges Hiles with the theft of items from Kohl’s that took place in late March, court records state.

While Hiles lists her legal address as a residence on Pennsylvania Street in Columbus, court records show she has been living recently near County Road 700W near Elizabethtown.

During an initial hearing Monday on the theft charge conducted by videoconference, Hiles told Worton she has been unemployed for four years and has dependents to support.

Two months ago, Hiles pleaded guilty before Bartholomew Superior Court II Judge Katherine Coriden to a misdemeanor charge of conversion stemming from a February 2014 incident, according to court records.

While she was given a one-year suspended sentence, a motion to revoke Hiles’ probation was filed March 26. After she didn’t show up for an April 17 hearing, Coriden issued an arrest warrant, court records state.

She also was arrested in late March on a Jennings County warrant on a charge of receiving stolen property and in February on a charge of visiting a common nuisance during a drug bust at a Columbus computer repair business.

With the combined local and Jennings County charges, Hiles remains in custody on a $207,500 surety or $20,750 cash bond.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.