UPDATE (January 24, 2018) -- Lucas Martinez pleaded guilty to dealing methamphetamine and was sentenced to 10 years in the Department of Correction.
MUNCIE, Ind. -- A Muncie man accused of hiding drugs in his baby's crib is a repeat drug offender with multiple previous drug convictions, records show.
Lucas Martinez was arrested last month on multiple drug charges including dealing methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of crack cocaine, possession of heroin, possession of marijuana, maintaining a common nuisance, two charges of possession of a controlled substance and neglect of a dependent.
Undercover deputies with the Delaware County Sheriff's Office said they tacked down Martinez through a few other suspects who were buying their drugs from the Muncie man. When investigators caught up with him, court records show, he sold them crystal meth in a park across the street from his home. He gave deputies permission to enter his home and when they did, court records show they found a metal cologne case with several baggies of drugs. They also found a BB gun that replicated a real gun.
Martinez admitted to deputies he made about $800 per week by selling drugs. Deputies are familiar with the suspect. He's been caught three times for selling drugs in the last two years. In February 2016, he was arrested and charged with selling a powerful and deadly narcotic called "flakka."
"He’s selling dangerous narcotics. I’m not wanting to say that any narcotic is not dangerous, but with type he’s selling are very dangerous and those are the types that are leading to overdoses here in the county," said an undercover deputy.
For his first two cases, Martinez accepted a plea deal, agreeing to attend drug court. Delaware County Deputy Prosecutor Zach Craig was on the case. Craig said agreeing to send any suspect to drug court is a gamble and admitted the deal reached with Martinez may not have been the best decision.
Craig said his office frequently deals with repeat drug offenders. He said, typically, non-violent offenders will be sentenced to drug court instead of being locked up without treatment options. At any given time, there are usually 200 offenders participating in the county's drug court program.
"At some point in time, these individuals are going to get out and go back into the community, so it’s better for everybody if we can resolve those underlying issues, otherwise it’s going to be a revolving door and we’re going to be sending them right back," Craig said.
Both prosecutors and deputies agree though, it doesn't always work.
"Regardless of what we do on our end, they have to be the ones to take responsibility," Craig said. He added, "If we have to keep arresting them and have to keep prosecuting them, that’s what we’ll have to do."
"It’s frustrating to know that no matter what we’ve done, it still hasn’t deterred his habits," a deputy added.
Because deputies said Martinez sold drugs near a park, his charges are enhanced. Due to his previous drug convictions, prosecutors said it's likely Martinez will be required to serve the original sentence, which would be more than five years in jail.