COLUMBUS, Ind. – A multi-agency drug investigation resulted in the arrests of two suspects, including the head varsity coach at Greenwood High School.
"It is discouraging that someone in that position made the poor chioce to do this," said Indiana State Police Sgt. Stephen Wheeles.
According to Indiana State Police, officers conducted a traffic stop on State Road 46 at Johnson Boulevard in Columbus on Tuesday. A K9 alerted police to the presence of illegal drugs in the vehicle. Troopers located what appeared to be heroin along with a syringe and drug paraphernalia.
The driver, Jared K. Elsner, 33, Seymour, was arrested at the scene and taken to the Bartholomew County Jail on charges of possession of heroin, possession of a syringe and possession of paraphernalia.
A traffic stop on a second vehicle on State Road 46 at Carr Hill Road involved Benjamin L. Beatty, who serves as varsity and junior high golf coach at Greenwood Community Schools. Police said Beatty resisted arrest and was detained at the scene. Investigators found methamphetamine, heroin and drug paraphernalia inside the car.
Police obtained search warrants for Beatty’s home in the 2500 block of Lafayette Avenue in Columbus and for a room at the Motel 6 in Columbus that Beatty had rented.
A search of those locations turned up additional drugs, including meth, heroin, and marijuana. Police also confiscated syringes, drug paraphernalia, packaging materials, counterfeit cash and other evidence of counterfeiting activities.
Police arrested Beatty on charges of dealing methamphetamine, dealing heroin, possession of methamphetamine, possession of heroin, possession of a syringe, counterfeiting, resisting law enforcement and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Both suspects were being held in the Bartholomew County Jail pending an initial court appearance.
The investigation involved the Indiana State Police-Versailles All Crimes Policing Team and the Bartholomew County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team.
Greenwood Community Schools released a statement about the arrest, saying they were informed of the charges against Beatty and had started the procedures to terminate his employment. The district said the conduct alleged against Beatty is not connected with any Greenwood students.
"We feel that the students were never in any danger and they are safe at this time," said Sgt. Stephen Wheeles.
Here's the school's full statement:
On May 2, 2018, Greenwood Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Kent DeKoninck was notified by both the Greenwood Police Department and the Indiana State Police of pending criminal charges being filed against an employee.
Benjamin Beatty, high school and middle school boys’ golf coach, was arrested in Columbus, Indiana and has been charged with multiple drug related offenses. Mr. Beatty does not serve in any other capacity in the school district.
Procedures have started to terminate his employment. He has had no contact with students since Dr. DeKoninck received notification of the charges being filed.
Based upon information received to this point, all conduct by Mr. Beatty leading to the charges are not connected with any Greenwood Community Schools students. Since this is a police matter, the school district will have no further comment at this time.
Beatty's former boss at Otte Golf and Family Fun Center in Greenwood believes he struggled with addiction while he was employed there as the center's golf pro. His boss says he was later fired.
We reached out to Beatty to see if he wanted to comment on the charges, he told us absolutely not.