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Suspicious persons call leads to meth lab arrests


July 24, 2013
Police responding to a call of suspicious people standing in a roadway turned into a foot chase and the discovery of numerous marijuana plants and a methamphetamine lab inside a home along Crandall-Lanesville Road in Lanesville Thursday. Acting on a tip the following day, police were able to locate the man who fled from police the prior day at a Georgetown home that contained another meth lab.

Capt. Brad Shepherd of the Harrison County Sheriff's Department said that at approximately 7:55 a.m. Thursday, Harrison County Emergency Dispatch received a complaint of two males standing in the road on the 3300 block of Crandall-Lanesville Road. Officer Rusty Sizemore of the Lanesville Police Department responded and made contact with the two men.

One of the men, William Berkley, 36, was taken into custody while the second man, Damon Schnellenberger, 24, fled the scene.

Numerous officers from Lanesville, the HCSD and the Milltown Police Department searched the area. While the MPD was using dogs to track Schnellenberger, it stumbled upon numerous marijuana plants growing in a field behind the residence where Berkley lived.

Police continued searching the area while a search warrant was obtained to search the home for Schnellenberger. Once they were able to gain access to the home to search for Schnellenberger, police located what appeared to be the remnants of a one-pot methamphetamine lab as well as additional marijuana and what Shepherd said appeared to be a white, powdery substance believed to be either cocaine or methamphetamine.

Police then exited the home to await a second search warrant to search the home and the rest of the property, and called in the Indiana State Police Meth Eradication Team.

Nearly 240 plants were seized from the property, which also had a second meth lab inside a garage.

The following evening, police received a tip that Schnellenberger may be inside a home along the 1700 block of Kepley Road in Georgetown.

Police from the HCSD and Floyd County Sheriff's Department went to the home and located Schnellenberger and Donald A. McKim Jr., 47, and Deborah A. Andres, 31, as well as two more meth labs inside the home.

All three people arrested in Floyd County were preliminarily charged with the felony manufacture of methamphetamine; McKim and Andres were both to receive a felony maintaining a common nuisance charge, Andres a resisting arrest charge, McKim a charge of assisting a criminal and Schnellenberger a charge of visiting a common nuisance.

In Harrison County, Berkley has been preliminarily charged with manufacturing meth while in possession of a firearm, possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana, maintaining a common nuisance and growing or cultivating marijuana. All of the charges are felonies.

Schnellenberger already had a warrant issued in June for Class D felony theft. Berkley's most recent criminal charges included Class B misdemeanor reckless driving in 2002 and the selling, manufacture of or possession of a sawed off shotgun in the same year.

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