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A tip from the community led police to two drug-related arrests and the confiscation of thousands of dollars worth of cold medication, drugs and rifles, including one with a bayonet.
Robbie Smith, 39, of 72 Reo St., and April Lynn Jackson, 40, of Edinburgh, were arrested Wednesday night and charged preliminarily with manufacturing and possession of methamphetamine, illegal possession of anhydrous ammonia, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. Both were being held at Bartholomew County Jail without bond.
Lt. Matt Myers, spokesman for Columbus Police Department, said that after receiving a tip from the public, detectives arrived at a residence in the 2700 block of South County Road 450E and saw Smith and Jackson sitting outside.
They initially arrested Smith on a warrant out of Jennings County charging failure to appear for a sentencing for possession of methamphetamine.
Jackson ran into the home but was arrested a short time later.
Myers said the detectives also smelled anhydrous ammonia, a farming chemical frequently associated with the production of meth, and saw anhydrous tanks in plain view in the garage.
After obtaining a search warrant, the detectives found a meth lab in the house, some meth and a large plastic bag filled with cold medication pills also frequently used for meth production. Myers said Indiana law forbids owning more than 10 grams of the pills.
The home contained 180 grams, with a street value of about $5,000.
Detectives also found drug paraphernalia, including syringes used to inject meth, a shotgun, two rifles and a stack of batteries.
Meth cooks often extract lithium from batteries to aid their meth production, Myers said.
After noticing a lamp that is generally used to aid crop growth, the detectives searched a cornfield behind the residence and found and removed marijuana plants.
Myers said Columbus Police Department has seen a greater occurrence of drug-related offenses in the last few months, in part because of stepped-up enforcement and more calls from the community.
Myers also said police officers and others in the law enforcement community are increasingly getting frustrated because they’re seeing the same few individuals repeatedly committing similar crimes.
For example, Myers said, both Smith and Jackson are known to the police department because they have numerous arrests related to drugs.
Smith was convicted in 2002 and sentenced to 16 years for manufacturing meth in Jennings County, while Jackson was booked into the Bartholomew County Jail as recently as late June on preliminary charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia and illegal possession of a syringe.
She also was arrested in November on a charge of criminal conversion, in March 2008 on drug-related charges and in 2004 was convicted for theft.
“It’s putting a bind on our resources and efforts, because we’re chasing the same people for the same things,” Myers said.
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