4 charged in drug raid that netted 20 lbs. of crystal meth, 100 lbs. of pot

Police seized some 18 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, more than 100 pounds of marijuana with a street value of more than $1 million and found nearly $74,000 in cash along with stolen property in a Dec. 29, 2017, raid of a Ligonier home. (Noble County Sheriff’s Office)

NOBLE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) — Formal charges have been filed against four people who were allegedly involved in what Noble County authorities said was perhaps the largest meth bust ever in the state of Indiana.

Multiple law enforcement agencies took part in a major investigation in Noble County that culminated in a warrant being served at a rural home a few miles outside Ligonier at 11405 North S.R. 5 on Dec. 29 where 18 pounds of crystal meth, more than 100 pounds of marijuana, more than 60 firearms and nearly $74,000 in cash were seized. The meth and marijuana held a street value of more than $1 million, and police used four trailers, two flatbed wreckers and two squad cars to haul away stolen and illegal obtained items.

“The magnitude of this seizure really cannot be overstated,” said Noble County Prosecutor Eric Blackman. “Methamphetamine has long been a problem in Noble County. While changes in the law have made locally made methamphetamine somewhat less of a problem, we are seeing a rise in laboratory-manufactured crystal methamphetamine being brought into our area from out-of-state.

“The danger to law enforcement and the community should not be underestimated. There were over 60 firearms located in the residence, many of which were loaded and placed within easy reach. These types of operations are dangerous, and are often accompanied by an increase in property crimes, not to mention the lives that are destroyed by methamphetamine use. This is why we will continue to work with local, State, and federal law enforcement to vigorously prosecute drug dealers.”

Four adults were taken into custody after the warrant was served at 8 a.m. that late December morning. On Thursday, Blackman announced those people had been formally charged.

Mark and Sherry Morr, both 47, have both been charged with dealing in methamphetamine, dealing in marijuana, maintaining a common nuisance and theft. Dustin Morr, 19, and Vanessa Salas, 21, were both charged with possession of methamphetamine, dealing in marijuana and theft.

Blackman said he’ll also pursue an additional charge against Mark Morr for possession of a sawed-off shotgun during the commission of a drug crime.

After the raid, two juveniles, ages 16 and 17, found in the home were placed in the care of the Department of Child Services, authorities said.

The case remains under investigation. Blackman said Thursday that police were still working to identify stolen property among the lot of stolen dirt bikes, motorcycles and ATVs.

“I am particularly troubled by the amount of personal property that was located at this residence,” said Blackman. “Burglaries in rural Noble County are on the rise, and I suspect that much of the property that was found will be confirmed as stolen and was received in exchange for drugs.”

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