INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A wide-ranging drug investigation spanning from Indianapolis to Muncie resulted in the arrests of more than a dozen people.
According to Indiana State Police, the investigation began in March and led investigators to serve 14 search warrants this week.
The operation involved multiple agencies, including the Muncie Police Department's Narcotics Unit, the Marion County Prosecutor's Office, the Delaware County Prosecutor's Office, Department of Homeland Security Investigations, Indiana State Police SWAT, Indiana State Police Drug Enforcement Investigators and troopers from the Indianapolis and Pendleton districts.
Police seized drugs including heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana, in addition to $88,945 in cash, seven handguns, three rifles and a shotgun. One of the handguns had been reported stolen, police said.
Police arrested more than a dozen people, including Jerry Parks, a Delaware County sheriff’s deputy who was taken into custody as part of a parallel investigation by the Muncie Police Department’s Narcotics Unit. Parks is charged with aiding, inducing, or causing dealing of heroin and marijuana.
Investigators said another person arrested in the investigation, Danny Terry, is Parks' nephew. Terry told investigators when he was arrested that his uncle provided him with drugs that he seized while working as a deputy. Parks is a K-9 handler.
Police believe Terry is the leader of the drug organization in Indianapolis. Investigators said Parks provided Terry confidential information about undercover officers that could have jeopardized their safety.
"How they move around, what kind of vehicles or equipment they used, and that definitely stands a chance of putting those individuals in harms way, which is definitely a main concern," said Delaware County Deputy Prosecutor Zach Craig.
Parks is additionally charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent because children were in his home when he was in possession of marijuana, investigators said. His wife, Bridgette Parks, was also arrested and faces neglect and drug-related charges.
"It’s disappointing, but the key to something like this is to address it. You enforce the law whether it’s one of your people or not and then you move forward. You move on," said Muncie Police Chief Joe Winkle.
According to court documents, Danny Terry and Anton Holland were co-owners of Circle City Sole in Castleton Square Mall. Records also show during one of many drug purchases, a confidential informant went to the back room of the shoe store and came out with 40 grams of heroin hidden in bags. It's believed Terry was selling heroin inside the shoe store.
Police were called by officials with the Transportation Security Administration at the Indianapolis International Airport on June 13, 2017. Court records show Terry was questioned about a significant amount of cash in $20 and $100 denominations which totaled $36,000. Terry told authorities it was from his shoe store.
During a wiretap investigation, court records show police overheard Terry talking about a marijuana grow operation at his home in Lawrence. When police searched his home, they found 150 marijuana plants. They also found other drugs and guns.
On Sept. 9, court documents state as part of the investigation, police searched a hotel room at the Caribbean Cove Hotel and Conference Center in Indianapolis. Inside a hotel room, police found a stolen firearm, 27 grams of crystal meth, paraphernalia, syringes, digital scales, and $63,000.
When police searched Circle City Sole, they found a sliding compartment of a wooden display case in the back room. Inside the case, court documents state, was about 102 grams of heroin.
It's believed Terry traveled to California to pick up much of his supply.
When interviewed by investigators, court records show Terry admitted he was dealing "controlled substances, specifically marijuana and heroin, since he returned from serving a prison sentence a couple years ago. Terry advised he dealt marijuana to several customers and would provide them with approximately 2-5 pounds at a time."
Suspects arrested in the case face drug-related charges, police said. Most of them are from Indianapolis:
- Marcus Bennett, 37
- Cory Poore, 28
- Joseph Majko Jr., 63
- Michael Campbell, 45 (was wanted on an unrelated warrant)
- Tara Martin, 30
- Buddy Rutar, 32
- John Smith, 61
- Jaquise Reed, 18
- Dontae Lawrence, 19
- Broderick Bullock, 33
- Anton Holland, 31
- Danny Terry, 33
- Alysia Muir, 24
- Richelle Bennett, 39
- David Eads, 29 (Ellettsville)
- Letha Kersey, 34
- Vera Kersey, 58
Members of the Delaware County Sheriff's Office were shocked to hear the news that one of their own was working against them.
"It’s disheartening. For us, for the city guys, for all the small towns here, we have a good image here in Delaware County and for a guy to do this, this is just disheartening," said Delaware County Chief Deputy Dave Spence.
The Delaware County Sheriff's Office released a statement about Parks' arrest:
Jerry Parks, a deputy with the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, was arrested by Muncie Police drug enforcement agents during the service of a search warrant late Thursday at a residence in Muncie. Parks has been charged with multiple drug-related offenses.
The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office takes these developments seriously and is offering its full support and assistance to investigating officers and agencies. Deputy Parks has been been placed on administrative leave effective immediately and all of his department-issued police equipment has been removed from his possession.
We are all saddened by this recent turn of events as anytime a police officer disgraces himself it reflects negatively not only on his department, but on the entire law enforcement profession. The Delaware County Sheriff’s Office remains committed to maintaining the highest of ethical standards in its dedicated service to the citizens of Delaware County and the State of Indiana and is taking immediate administrative steps to help prevent any similar future occurrence.