Narcotics task force recovers drugs, gun in Columbus


Shawn Vanarsdale (left) and Nicole Spatola (right) (booking photos provided by JNET)

COLUMBUS, Ind. — A multi-agency narcotics investigation resulted in the arrest of two people on drug and gun charges in Columbus on Tuesday.

The Columbus/Bartholomew County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team (JNET) along with the Columbus Police Department and Indiana State Police conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle leaving a hotel on the west side of Columbus.

JNET said officers found around four lbs of marijuana and a handgun while searching the vehicle.

The driver Shawn I. Vanarsdale, 45, of Columbus and passenger Nicole A. Spatola, 42, of Columbus were detained, authorities said.

Police obtained a search warrant for the hotel room that Vanarsdale checked into earlier Tuesday.

Indiana State Police troopers found 408 grams of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia including a scale and several glass pipes.

JNET said both Vanarsdale and Spatola were placed under arrest and taken to the Bartholomew County Jail.

Vanarsdale faces preliminary charges including dealing methamphetamine, dealing marijuana, and possession of a handgun without a permit. Spatola faces a charge of possession of methamphetamine.

Authorities said additional charges are possible in this ongoing investigation.

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