News Release
December 12, 2008
Contact: Joanna Zoltay
Number: 312-886-2597

Methamphetamine Organization Dismantled in Southern Indiana
Twenty Indicted on Methamphetamine Trafficking Charges

DEC 12 -- (Terre Haute, IN) Nineteen defendants arrested today in Terre Haute, Indiana will appear in federal court to face methamphetamine trafficking charges. One defendant, Jason Bays, 34, of Terre Haute is still being sought. The arrests were part of a multi-law enforcement operation led by the Drug Enforcement Administration targeting a methamphetamine distribution organization operating out of the Terre Haute and southern Indiana areas.

A federal grand jury returned three separate indictments in the case, which charge a total of twenty individuals. The first indictment charged the following eight defendants:

Robbin Welker, 43, Terre Haute
Shonna R. Frey, 38, Terre Haute
Chad Decker, 34, Terre Haute
Donald A. Myers, 41 Terre Haute
Jason Bays, 34 Terre Haute
Rick Dowden, 44, Terre Haute
Brandon Nemeth, 34, Terre Haute
Melissa Hutchen, 40, Terre Haute

All eight defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. In addition, Welker and Hutchens are charged with separate counts of distribution of methamphetamine. The indictment charges that Welker acquired large amounts of methamphetamine from a source of supply Indianapolis, Indiana and, with the assistance of Nemeth, transported the methamphetamine to Terre Haute for distribution. It is further alleged that Welker distributed the methamphetamine to several individuals in Terre Haute for re-distribution, including Frye, Decker, Myers, Bays, Dowden, and Hutchens.

The second indictment charged the following eleven individuals:

Vicki Shaw, 41, Terre Haute
Frederick L. Douglas, 43, Terre Haute
Jason Shaw, 35, Terre Haute
David Lindsay, 41, West Terre Haute
George Hall, 49, Terre Haute
Dewayne Phelps, 26, Terre Haute
Todd Hathaway, 41, Terre Haute
Jeremiah Corbin, 29, Terre Haute
James Chambers, 40, Terre Haute
Hugh Dean, 29, Hymera, Indiana
Steve Swayze, 56, Terre Haute

All eleven defendants are charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. The indictment also charges Vicki Shaw with two counts of distribution of methamphetamine; Hall, Phelps and Lindsay each with one count of possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute. The indictment charges that Vicki Shaw acquired large amounts of methamphetamine from sources of supply in Indianapolis, Indiana and Arizona. The indictment further alleges that Douglas transported the methamphetamine to Terre Haute, where Vicki Shaw distributed it to her customers for redistribution.

In addition to the arrest warrants, 13 search warrants were executed in the Terre Haute area as part of the investigation.

“The success and safety of today’s enforcement operation is due to the cooperative partnership we have with the Vigo County Drug Task Force, the Indiana State Police, and the other federal, state and local agencies that assisted with this investigation,” stated Gary G. Olenkiewicz, Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Chicago Field Division which covers the state of Indiana. “We will continue to work with them as well as other federal state and local agencies to rid our communities of illegal narcotics and the criminals who sell them.”

During the execution of the search and arrest warrants approximately $28,000 in cash was seized along with approximately 1 ½ pounds of methamphetamine. Twenty firearms were also seized.

Agencies assisting with the investigation and enforcement operation included the Evansville office of the Drug Enforcement administration, the Vigo County Drug Task Force, the Indiana State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the United States Marshal Service, and the Clay County Sheriff’s Department.

The public is reminded that the indictment is an allegation only, and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at trial or by guilty plea.