• Bill Raines

Joint Investigation Leads to Arrests of Two on Drug Related Charges

Indiana State Police and Bedford Police Department make a traffic stop on State Road 37 near Dixie Highway (Courtesy photo given to Lawrence County Zephyr)

LAWRENCE COUNTY - SEPTEMBER 8, 2022 - A lengthy joint drug investigation between the Bedford Police Department, Indiana State Police Bloomington District Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Section, and the Indiana State Police Drug Enforcement Section concluded on September 8, 2022. During the course of their duties, Bedford Police officer Rob Looney and Sgt. Faheem Bade had obtained information that Devin Johnson, 27 years old from Leesville, and Reese Ayers, 22 years old from Oolitic were involved in dealing large quantities of heroin and fentanyl in Lawrence County. An investigation was launched where Officers and Troopers employed a variety of investigative techniques to confirm the information.

On Thursday morning, investigators were able to determine that both Johnson and Ayers had obtained a ride to pick up a large quantity of heroin. As the investigation continued throughout the day, Bedford Police Officer Looney and Indiana State Police Trooper Chance Humphrey observed a gray, 2008 Ford Escape traveling northbound on SR 37 near Dixie Highway. The Ford was traveling above the posted 55 mph speed limit and a traffic stop was initiated. Both Ayers and Johnson were passengers in the Ford.

Sgt. Bade deployed his canine, Zazu, who gave a positive alert on the vehicle. ISP Sgt. Greg Day, along with Bedford Police Department officers Tyler McGlocklin and Major Jesse Crane, were also on the scene to assist. During the search of the Ford, approximately 2 grams of heroin and a used hypodermic syringe were located. Ayers was found to be in possession of 8 grams of fentanyl, a used hypodermic syringe, a small amount of marijuana, and drug paraphernalia in his sock.

Based on information obtained during the investigation and at the scene, the heroin and syringe inside the Ford were determined to belong to Johnson.

Both Ayers and Johnson were arrested and incarcerated in the Lawrence County Jail. Ayers was charged with Possession of Narcotic Drug Between 5 and 10 Grams with Intent to Deal (Level 3 Felony), Possession of Narcotic Drug (Level 5 Felony), Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe (Level 6 Felony), Possession of Marijuana (Class B Misdemeanor), and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (Class C Misdemeanor). Johnson was arrested for Possession of Narcotic Drug Under 3 Grams With Intent to Deal (Level 4 Felony), Conspiracy to Deal a Narcotic Drug (Level 4 Felony), Possession of Narcotic Drug (Level 6 Felony) and Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe (Level 6 Felony).

Sgt. Day praised the teamwork between the two departments. Day said, “The partnership we have fostered working with Bedford PD continues to pay huge dividends for the citizens of the entire county. We all know that heroin and fentanyl are killing our family and friends. This arrest slows the flow of the drug into our county and has saved some lives. The great work that Bedford does should be acknowledged by all.”

Anyone with information on illegal drug activity is requested and encouraged to call the Indiana State Police Bloomington Post at 812-332-4411, the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office tip line at 812-545-4700, or send an email to drugactivity@lawrencecounty.in.gov. All calls are confidential.

Under the law, criminal charges are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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