Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

October 26, 2013

Westport couple held on drug charges

By Rob Cox Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG — A Westport couple is currently housed at Decatur County Jail, each facing two drug-related felony counts.

Michael L. and Tammy L. Lawles each face a single charge of dealing in marijuana (Class C Felony), while Michael faces an additional charge of possession of methamphetamine (Class B Felony), and Tammy an additional charge of possession of a controlled substance (Class C Felony).

The charges stem from a search warrant police executed on the couple’s home at 110 South State Road 3, Thursday. A total of 12 officers participated in serving said warrant, including law enforcement officials from the Westport Town Marshal’s office, the Greensburg Police Department and the Decatur County Sheriff’s Department.

According to a police report filed in Decatur County Superior Court, police knocked on the door of the couple’s residence and announced their presence, but no one answered. Police discovered the front door unlocked and thereby entered. Shortly after, police found both suspects and a juvenile hiding in the home’s master bedroom.

The juvenile was remanded to the Indiana Department of Child Services, while Michael and Tammy Lawles were transported to the Decatur County Jail.

A search of the residence was conducted employing the assistance of a drug-sniffing canine. The search uncovered a 476-gram (approximately 1 pound) “compressed brick” of marijuana taped to the bathtub’s underside. According to the report, such packaging of marijuana is a “common method of packaging for compressed marijuana by Mexican drug trafficking organizations.”

Police also found multiple smoking devices containing burnt residue of both smoked marijuana and smoked methamphetamines. They also found a quantity of Clonazepam, 0.5 mg, a schedule IV controlled substance, and digital scales containing marijuana residue. They also found evidence that additional marijuana bricks had been broken down for distribution and sale.

Both subjects agreed to be interviewed by police. Michael allegedly told interrogators that he’s been obtaining bricks of marijuana from a source in Columbus for several months and has been selling and distributing it at a rate of one-pound every 10 days. He also allegedly acknowledged using methamphetamine and smoking marijuana at his residence.

In her interview with police, Tammy Lawles allegedly acknowledged that she knows her husband deals marijuana, with numerous individuals regularly coming and going from the residence for the purpose of obtaining the illicit drug. She also allegedly admitted to smoking the drug and to using Clonazepam without a prescription. Moreover, based on her statements, police gleaned the very real possibility that the minor in the home had access to marijuana.

Police also interviewed a third suspect, this one alleged to be one of Michael’s regular customers. This third witness allegedly admitted to police that his wife is a regular marijuana smoker and that the Lawleses are his source of supply. The witness allegedly clarified that his wife is the buyer and that she has purchased from both Lawleses on several occasions.

Both suspects are currently being held at the Decatur County Jail without bond, awaiting an initial court appearance.

Contact: Rob Cox 812-663-3111 x7011