Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

April 24, 2013

Sheriff’s Department shuts down alleged meth operation

Rob Cox
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — The Decatur County Sheriff’s Department shut the door on an alleged methamphetamine lab Tuesday morning, sending two county residents to jail on multiple felony charges.

Andrew B. Chauncy, 37, and his wife April L. Chauncy, 34, of 10800 South County Road 60 Southwest, were arrested Tuesday on multiple charges pertaining to allegations of drug abuse, manufacture of methamphetamine and child neglect, following an investigation by DCSD Detective Kevin Rohr.

The Chauncys were both formally charged in the Decatur Circuit Court Tuesday with identical counts: Dealing (manufacture) in methamphetamine (class B felony); possession of two or more chemical reagents or precursors with intent to manufacture methamphetamine (class C felony); possession of  methamphetamine (class C felony); neglect of a dependent (class C felony) and possession of marijuana (class A misdemeanor).

Police were notified of the actions relating to the charges by one of the Chauncys’ children. The juvenile had run away from home to a relative’s house in order to avoid the alleged drug abuse as well as verbal abuse from her parents. Three other children ranging in age from 6 to 14 remained in the home.

Members of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department and the Indiana State Police Meth Suppression Unit conducted a search of the home Tuesday morning, while both suspects were present. Investigators discovered a litany of items commonly used in the manufacture of methamphetamine: coffee filters, stripped lithium batteries, a propane tank full of anhydrous ammonia, a mason jar full of an odorous liquid, and several other bits of paraphernalia.

Marijuana was found in the home as well. Prior to the search, one of the Chauncys’ children informed police her parents had used marijuana in her presence and explained to her what it was. It was also alleged that Andrew Chauncy would spend several hours in the basement each night, and no one else in the home was allowed to go down there.

Adding to the potential peril at the residence, investigators discovered two loaded firearms — a .410 shotgun and a Davis .38 caliber handgun — in the home. The handgun was found on a coffee table, while the loaded shotgun was found in the master bedroom. Conservation Officer Andy Hagerty assisted at the scene and transported the couple to the Decatur County Jail.

At the jail, April Chauncy gave a statement to Det. Rohr in which she claimed to have no knowledge of what her husband was doing with the various chemicals in their house, stating Andrew had told her he used the chemicals to remove caulking from his fingers. April did, however, state she was aware of her husband’s marijuana use.

Andrew Chauncy declined an interview with police and stated he wished to have legal representation. The suspect is alleged to have then told police he was aware the chemicals in his home could be used to manufacture methamphetamine, but that he was keeping them for a friend in order to make money. Chauncy also told police he had never manufactured methamphetamine, though he and a friend had smoked it at the residence.

Both Chauncys remained incarcerated in the Decatur County Jail at press time Wednesday. Andrew Chauncy had a commercial bond set at $50,000. His wife’s commercial bond was set at $25,000.

Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056