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Two Columbus residents were arrested and drugs discovered at a Mead Village home where public and police concerns about suspicious activity prompted the Columbus Police Department to use its SWAT team.
The department’s nine-member armed and armored SWAT team executed a search warrant about 4 p.m. Thursday at 1702 McCullough Lane.
At least 10 marijuana plants, small quantities of marijuana and methamphetamine, and drug paraphernalia that included smoking pipes and marijuana plant-growing equipment were discovered, said police spokesman Lt. Matt Myers.
The exact drug quantities or their street values were not immediately known, Myers said.
An 8-year-old child in the home was placed in a family member’s care, he said.
Brent V. Burnette, 28, on charges of possession of methamphetamine and maintaining a common nuisance, both Class D felonies; and cultivating marijuana and possession of paraphernalia, both Class A misdemeanors.
Tiffany N. Sawyer, 28, maintaining a common nuisance, Class D felony; possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia, both Class A misdemeanors.
Both Burnette and Sawyer lived at the home.
A concerned resident called the police department about a week ago about possible drug activity in the house. Police surveillance of the house revealed people believed to be drug dealers coming and going, Myers said.
During the course of its investigation, police also learned that some marijuana plants were growing behind the house, Myers said. CPD enlisted the help of the Indiana State Police, which flew over the yard in a helicopter and noticed at least 10 plants.
Myers said when it came time for police to exercise a search warrant, the department opted to use its SWAT team because of the possible dangers associated with so many repeat visitors.
SWAT members have more tactical training than traditional police officers, Myers said. SWAT is not used often in drug arrests, he said.
“We didn’t know what we were getting into,” Myers said.
Burnette and Sawyer were incarcerated Friday at the Bartholomew County Jail, Myers said. Their surety bonds was set at $10,000 each, or $1,000 cash.
However, a 48-hour hold prevents them from bonding out, a jail supervisor said.
The office of Bartholomew County Prosecutor Bill Nash will decide what charges, if any, to file.
The investigation is ongoing, and more arrests are expected, Myers said.
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