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Investigation leads to arrest in heroin case


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A two-month undercover investigation has culminated in the arrest of a 29-year-old Jennings County woman for dealing a Schedule I narcotic.

Erika J. Swindell of North Vernon was arrested Friday afternoon by officers from the Columbus Police and Jennings County Sheriff’s Departments on a preliminary charge of dealing heroin, a Class B felony.

“Our undercover narcotics team works tirelessly to investigate these cases,” Columbus Police Chief Jason Maddix said in a news release. “I am very proud of their efforts. There is no doubt in my mind that this arrest will help save lives.”

Swindell is suspected of bringing heroin into the Bartholomew and Jennings county areas from Indianapolis and Cincinnati. If convicted, Swindell faces 6 to 20 years in prison.

“Cutting off the supply of drugs into our community is job one for our police department,” Mayor Kristen Brown said in a recent news release. “Chief Maddix and his team are aggressively pursuing drug dealers with any available legal means. We cannot have this activity in our community.”

It appears the popularity of heroin might be coming back, said Columbus Police Department spokesman Lt. Matt Myers. The highly potent, dangerous and addictive drug can create major issues for the community, Myers said.

“These drugs are coming out of urban, bigger cities, like Chicago and Indianapolis,” Myers said. “These types of drugs are going to be a major focus for the narcotics department. We don’t want heroin on the streets of Columbus.”

Swindell is currently being held in the Jennings County Jail.

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