Police: Man arrested after Bartholomew County traffic stop considered ‘large-scale’ heroin dealer

Matthew Zook and Tasha Barnes

Update (Oct. 12, 2017)– Barnes received a suspended sentence and will serve two years on probation. Zook’s trial is scheduled for Jan. 23.

Original story:

COLUMBUS, Ind. – Officers arrested two people, including a man police consider a “large-scale heroin dealer,” following a traffic stop this week.

Matthew Zook, 34, and Tasha Barnes, 34, both from Columbus, were arrested after police observed their vehicle committing a traffic violation Tuesday night on County Road 800 North. Investigators believe Zook was on his way to Cincinnati to buy heroin and bring it back to Bartholomew County.

A police K-9 alerted officers to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle, police said. A search turned up 34 grams of heroin along with methamphetamine, marijuana, Suboxone strips and drug paraphernalia. Police also found cash and a handgun.

Authorities with the Bartholomew County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team said numerous tips and interviews with witnesses and overdose victims identified Zook as a “large-scale” heroin dealer in the area.

Charges against Zook and Barnes include dealing heroin, possession of heroin, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance. Zook faces an additional count of possession of a handgun without a permit.