By Dave Pearce
Investigation of a home fire scene has led to the arrest of two Posey County men on various drug-related charges.
Terry L. Vaupel, 63, and Stephen J. Nurrenbern, 47, have been arrested and charged with a variety of charges as the result of the Sept. 14, 2012, fire in the 100 block of Deer Run Drive in eastern Posey County. The home is located in Twin Lakes Mobile home Park.
According to information provided by Kenneth Rose, supervisor of the Posey County Drug Task Force, the Marrs Township Fire Department and the Posey County Sheriff’s Department responded to call late on that Friday afternoon.
According to a press release issued by the Posey County Drug Task Force, “upon extermination of the blaze, firefighters observed items they felt were clandestine methamphetamine laboratory-related.”
According to the release, deputy Darren Seitz had responded to the fire call and upon his arrival, had been told about the items the firemen had observed both inside and outside the dwelling.
Seitz then notified Posey County Sheriff Greg Oeth, who in turn, notified members of the Posey County Drug Task Force.
Following an assessment by members of the Task Force, Rose obtained a search warrant for the residence. During the ensuing search of the property, an active meth lab was located inside the residence along with possible finished methamphetamine products.
Although the fire department was able to contain the fire primarily to the laundry room of the mobile home, the first appeared to be the result of a meth lab explosion. No one was home at the residence at the time fire and law enforcement officials arrived.
Rose indicated that it took nearly 12 hours to process the fire and crime scene alone.
“We had to conduct an investigation of the fire scene and we then had to conduct some interviews,” Rose said of the time between the Sept. 14 fire and the eventual Sept. 16 arrests. “We worked with the Mount Vernon City Police, the Posey County Sheriff’s Department, and the Indiana State Police in making an apprehension of the two suspects.”
Vaupel was arrested as a result of observance by the drug task force in his vehicle eastbound on highway 62 just east of Mount Vernon. Later in the evening, Nurrenbern was arrested at a Bonebank Road residence rural Posey County.
Vaupel has been charged with Dealing in Methamphetamine, a Class B Felony, Unlawful Possession or Use of a Precursor, a Class D Felony, Possession of Methamphetamine, a Class D Felony; and maintaining a Common Nuisance, also a Class D Felony. Nurrenbern was charged with Dealing in Methamphetamine, a Class B Felony, Unlawful Possession or use of a Precursor, a Class D Felony, Possession of a Methamphetamine, a Class D Felony; and Maintaining a Common Nuisance, a Class D Felony.
“During interviews, I found out that in the beginning, the lab was being used to make methamphetamine for personal use,” Rose said. “Later in the interview process, we did receive information that the meth was being sold.”
Both were arrested without incident and both are lodged in the Posey County Jail.