By Dave Pearce
On April 27, 2013, uniformed patrol officers of the Mount Vernon Police Department detected a strong odor of ether while on routine patrol which they were able to trace to a residence located in the 1000 block of West Second Street in Mount Vernon.
Through Posey County Prosecutor Travis Clowers, the officers were then able to obtain a search warrant for the residence during the early am hours.
Upon executing the search warrant in which uniformed officers of the Posey County Sheriff’s Department also assisted, officers discovered an active clandestine methamphetamine laboratory on the property site.
Personnel of the Posey County Drug Task Force were summoned to the scene to assist in the search and to further investigate the meth lab incident.
Drug Task Force officers discovered numerous items related to the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Following the search, the property owner, Richard Hanmore, age 39, of Mount Vernon and Rachel Koontz, age 35, also of Mount Vernon were arrested on numerous drug related offenses.
Both Hanmore and Koontz were transported to and lodged in the Posey County Jail.
An investigation by the drug task force is continuing into the incident.
“This is just another example of the cooperation between police departments and between uniformed patrol officers and detectives to increase the active law enforcement drive on purging our community of illegal drug activity which has a direct effect upon all citizens,” said Drug Task Force Director Kenneth Rose. “Quite often, illegal drug activity leads to other crimes such as thefts, burglaries, purchase of illegal weapons, etc. By attacking the illegal drug activity in our community, it helps reduce our citizen’s homes from being burglarized and police officers from having to face the added dangers of having to get those illegal weapons out of the hands of criminals and off our streets.
Citizens are urged to continue contacting law enforcement authorities in relaying tips of illegal drug activity in their neighborhoods.”
On Monday, April 15, 2013, Mount Vernon resident Stephen Miller appeared before the Honorable James Redwine in Posey County Circuit for sentencing.
Miller pleaded guilty to one count of Dealing in Marijuana, as a Class C felony, and one count of Dealing in a Schedule II controlled substance, as a Class B felony. Miller was sentenced to five years in prison for count 1 and 11 years in prison on Count 2. The counts will be served concurrently, for a total of 11 years.
Miller’s arrest stemmed from a long-term drug investigation called “Operation Fair Warning” which culminated in the arrest of over 30 individuals for illegal drug activity. The operation was conducted by the Posey County Narcotics Unit, and supervised by Kenneth Rose, an investigator with the Posey County Prosecutor’s Office. Rose stated that he was “pleased with the sentence.” Rose further commented that “information which lead to this arrest and conviction was given by a concerned citizen” and that he “hopes that anyone with knowledge of illegal drug activity will step forward and turn that information over to law enforcement.”
Travis Clowers, Posey County Prosecutor, stated, “The Narcotics Unit conducted a very thorough investigation which lead to a strong case in court. This is another example of the continued effort by all local law enforcement to rid our county of drugs.”
By Dave Pearce
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