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29 arrested in drug bust centered in Huntington

Several police departments arrested nearly 30 people in a pre-dawn roundup Tuesday, focused mainly in Huntington County.

By the end of the nearly three-hour operation, police had 29 people in custody with felony warrants alleging drug dealing.

Two more people were not arrested by late Tuesday but have warrants for their arrests.

The arrests came at the end of a nearly 15-month investigation, Huntington Police Chief E.J. Carroll said.

“We’re trying to get out to the community that this was a joint effort … to stop drugs in our community,” he said Tuesday.

Police started the roundup around 4 a.m. and by about 7 a.m. had nearly everyone in custody, Carroll said.

He added that a few people tried to hide in their homes, but police quickly found them and said no one resisted or tried to run.

Although all arrests involved charges for dealing illegal drugs, including methamphetamine, Carroll said that did not mean the people were part of a single operation.

Some of those arrested were family members to one another, he said.

Several people arrested are considered habitual substance offenders due to previous drug-related convictions.

“These were bad people, and we’re glad to get them off the street,” Carroll said.

Police arrested two people at their jobs but found all the others at their homes.

All but three were found in the city of Huntington or in the county; the others were in Markle, Wells County and Bluffton.

Carroll said some of those arrested had warrants issued for some time, but police wanted to wait so word didn’t spread about arrests in progress and tip off anyone else involved.

Arrests made are as follows:

•Charged with two counts of dealing a controlled substance: Jeremy Burnworth, 32; Rolland Ladyga, 48; Zachary Simmons, 31; Jeremy Holley, 29; Shawn Adkins, 32; Alisha Sills, 26; Alisha Ladyga, 27; Brittany Dimmick, 24; Jana Sivley, 21; Leecia Dimmick, 27; Shaun Mitchem, 29; Teresa Wall, 48; Trever Hardin, 22; Scott Chopson Sr., 46; Cody Jones, 27; Dalton Hayden, 21

•Charged with two counts of dealing methamphetamine: Renna Huffman, 33; Benjamin Keen, 36; Nicole McCown, 28

•Charged with one count of dealing a controlled substance: Jarek Young, 24; Vincente “Niko” Velez, 21; Stephanie Chaffee, 26; Candice Hennen, 25

•Charged with dealing: Wendi Tackett, 38, one count each of dealing methamphetamine and dealing a controlled substance; Alissa Smithley, 26, one count each of dealing controlled substance, dealing a counterfeit substance and dealing a legend drug; Charles Benfer, 21, one count each of dealing methamphetamine and dealing a legend drug; Joshua Wiley, 25, one count each of dealing a controlled substance and dealing a legend drug; Stephanie Langston, 27, dealing methamphetamine; Joseph P. Engelman, 29, turned himself in on one count each of dealing methamphetamine and dealing cocaine

•Not arrested, but warrants issued for their arrests: Andrea N. Haupert, 27, one count each of dealing a controlled substance and dealing a legend drug; Bradley A. Niemann, 21, charged with two counts of dealing a controlled substance