ANDERSON, IN– A meth distribution network was taken down in what police called one of the biggest busts in the history of Madison County. Investigators said 25 people are now facing charges in connection to it, including a man they call a major supplier.
Police said a spike in crystal meth linked arrests and tips from citizens sparked the start of “Operation Crystal Palace.”
“This is a win, win case,” Anderson Police Chief Tony Watters said. “It eliminates criminal activity, criminal element in our city and it makes us closer to the community.”
Police said the Madison County Drug Task Force identified Justin Shaul as a major supplier. They believe his illegal drug network crossed the country, the drugs coming in from California and ending up in Indiana and Ohio. He was arrested in Nevada.
Tuesday, six people went to jail after a meth bust at a home in the 1900 block of Norwood Place. Investigators said they found meth, guns and nearly 100 syringes at the house. Wednesday, investigators said they took five more people into custody bringing the total to 25 people facing charges linked to Shaul’s network.
“There was 5-7 pounds of meth coming into our city two and three times a week,” Watters said.
The DEA said statewide it’s seen an uptick in meth seizures. It’s coming less from labs. The majority is from the Southwest border.
“We’re all seeing the rise in meth but heroin is our problem,” Watters said.
Earlier this month, two more meth busts were tied to the Mexican drug cartel in Hendricks and Delaware counties proving the problem is statewide.
The latest bust, though, is giving a little more hope of keeping Madison County streets drug-free.
“I think it’ll be a lot more better for the kids,” William Stewart, a neighbor, said.
Police said Shaul will be extradited back to Madison County where he’s expected to face felony charges.