If only all suspects could make solving crime as easy as logging on to Snapchat.
Bartholomew County Sheriff’s deputies were able to make arrests in an ongoing investigation involving guns and drugs after a suspect — later identified as Anthony Sherman — filmed himself smoking marijuana and shooting at road signs, and then posted the entire video on social media.
Sheriff Matt Myers said he appreciated the assistance of having criminal activity filmed and posted for everyone to view.
“It was key in apprehending him,” Myers said.
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The investigation began at 11:42 p.m. Thursday when the sheriff’s department received numerous calls of shots fired on County Road 400N west of the Tinkey Bridge, which is over the East Fork White River. Some of the gunfire sounded as if it came from a semiautomatic weapon, callers reported.
Deputies who went to that location didn’t find anyone but discovered numerous shell casings scattered about, and two signs with numerous bullet holes.
The incident was considered dangerous because homes are nearby, and anyone driving on the road could have been hit by random gunfire, deputies said.
As deputies were about to leave, the county’s emergency dispatch center received a call from a Columbus resident saying that someone had just posted a video on social media showing him shooting signs on 400N.
The video could be seen on Snapchat within about a half hour of when the calls came in about shots being fired, deputies said.
Investigators watched the video and were able to identify the car and the license plate, which led them to a home in the 4800 block of Cayman Court.
There, they found two vehicles, one with its trunk and doors open.
While talking to individuals there, two males got in one of the cars and left, and Deputy Matt Bush decided to follow them, Myers said.
Bush saw two traffic infractions and stopped the vehicle, Myers said.
During that stop, the deputy found a substantial amount of marijuana in the vehicle and arrested Sherman, 21, 4852 Cayman Court for possession of marijuana, and criminal recklessness with a firearm — after investigators identified him as the suspect who had been shooting at the signs in the video.
While Sherman was heading to the Bartholomew County Jail, sheriff deputies obtained a search warrant for Sherman’s home and found an estimated 15 firearms — including handguns, rifles and shotguns — in his bedroom, Myers said.
Investigators also found marijuana, heroin, other controlled substances and drug paraphernalia, Myers said.
Sherman ended up bonding out of jail before deputies had finished with the search warrant at his home, Myers said.
The sheriff department now plans to turn everything they have found over to the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s office for possible additional charges.
Deputies did confiscate all of the guns from the home, Myers said. The video does show the suspect using some sort of semiautomatic weapon as part of shooting at the signs, in addition to a pump-action rifle.
As a result of what investigators found in Sherman’s possession, deputies then obtained a search warrant for a room at a west-side Columbus hotel, Myers said.
There, they arrested Jeremy Moore, 32, 14421 S. Jonesville Road, on a warrant for failure to appear on a driving-while-suspended charge, Myers said.
Deputies then obtained a search warrant for Moore’s hotel room and his vehicle, Myers said.
Moore also is being held on preliminary charges of possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia because of items found on him when he was patted down, Myers said.
The Bartholomew County Joint Narcotics Task Force is conducting an ongoing investigation into what was found in that search, Myers said, with results being turned over to the prosecutor’s office.
Bartholomew County Sheriff deputies are seeking more tips from anyone who might have come across social media videos of individuals shooting Bartholomew County signs. If you have a tip, call Detective Capt. Chris Roberts at 812-565-5924 or the Sheriff Department Tip Line at 812-379-1712.