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Hope police catch ‘major player’ in drug world

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An Edinburgh woman described by police as a “major player” in the drug world has been caught after six months on the run.

Tammy Jo Money, 44, of 901 S. Roosevelt St., Edinburgh, was apprehended along with a male companion during a weekend traffic stop in Hope.

Investigators in Edinburgh began investigating Money early last year after receiving several complaints of drug dealing on the town’s far south side, said Edinburgh Deputy Police Chief David Lutz, lead case investigator.

Undercover officers were able to purchase methamphetamine from Money on three separate occasions last July, according to a probable cause affidavit written by Lutz.

The final purchase on July 30, in which 1.53 grams of meth was obtained for $100, was secretly videotaped, the court document said.

All three purchases took place within Money’s home in Edinburgh, which increases potential penalties because the house is located near a public park just a block from the Johnson-Bartholomew County line, the affidavit stated.

After Money appeared for a Sept. 5 pretrial conference in Franklin on an earlier case, an acquaintance who had checked an online court record service warned Money she was facing three meth-dealing charges, Lutz said.

That’s when the Edinburgh woman decided to run from the law, he said.

As police attempted to track down Money, Lutz kept hearing she might be in the Hope area.

Hope Police officer Keith Lawson saw a southbound Chevrolet S10 pickup on State Road 9 with a license plate light out at 9:24 p.m. Saturday, interim Hope Town Marshal Matt Talent said.

After pulling the truck over on the town’s south side, Lawson became suspicious when the driver — Rollon Bart Dampier, 50 — handed him a state-issued identification card instead of a driver’s license, Talent said.

A warrant check showed that Dampier was wanted by Morgan County authorities on a charge of receiving stolen property, so he was taken into custody, the marshal said.

When Lawson asked Dampier’s female passenger for a license to prove she could legally drive the pickup, the woman identified herself as Lisa Price, Talent said. However, no record of such a person fitting the woman’s description could be found, and Lawson decided to have the truck towed, the marshal said.

After the woman got out of the vehicle, Lawson noticed a bulge under her seat cover that, after checking, turning out to be a clear container containing methamphetamine and several pills, Talent said.

When deputies from the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department arrived, an inventory check of the truck uncovered identification proving the woman passenger was actually Tammy Jo Money, Talent said.

Two bags of marijuana were found in Money’s purse, while additional pills were found in a tin container during a body search, he said.

As a Hope officer began to drive Money to the Bartholomew County Jail, the woman attempted to kick the backseat windows out of the patrol car, Talent said. Money was finally taken to Columbus in a caged sheriff’s car, he said.

Besides the original arrest warrant for three counts of dealing in methamphetamine, eight new charges, mostly drug-related, were filed against Money by the Hope Police Department:

  • Possession of a Schedule 4 controlled substance
  • Possession of a Schedule 2 controlled substance
  • Possession of a Schedule 1 controlled substance
  • Possession of a Legend drug
  • Possession of methamphetamine
  • Possession of marijuana
  • Possession of paraphernalia
  • False informing
  • Disorderly conduct

Six months prior to the undercover drug buys last summer, Johnson County authorities accused Money on Jan. 29, 2013, of being a habitual substance offender. She also was charged that day with five other crimes:

  • Trafficking with an inmate
  • Possession of methamphetamine
  • Possession of marijuana
  • Obstruction of justice
  • Resisting law enforcement

That case before Johnson County Superior Court 3 Judge Lance Hamner remains open.

Following a 48-hour hold, Money’s bond was reduced from $218,500 to $150,000 surety or $15,000 cash, but she was still being held as of late Tuesday morning, jail officials said.

While police weren’t sure of Dampier’s current address, court records show he has previously lived in the Cornbrook Addition northwest of Columbus, as well as in Edinburgh and western Bartholomew County.

As of late Tuesday morning, he also was being held without bond.

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