NORTH WEBSTER — Police arrested the owner of a North Webster nightclub during a raid early Thursday morning.
Samuel S. Stimmel, 64, was arrested on charges of corrupt business influence and promoting prostitution. Court documents provided by Kosciusko County prosecutors also indicate Stimmel faces charges of dealing in a synthetic drug lookalike substance.
Police said Stimmel was booked into the Kosciusko County Jail and later released on a $100,000 bond. Court documents list an address for Stimmel of 7227 Syracuse Webster Road, North Webster.
Four other people were also arrested in connection to the Stimmel case. The arrests mark the conclusion of an investigation by Centralized Drug Enforcement of Kosciusko County officers that started in July.
Chad Hill, public information officer with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, said police had received tips that lookalike drugs were being dealt out of Stimmelators Gentleman’s Club, 114 E. Washington St., and California Dreamin’, 108 E. Washington St. Both businesses are owned by Stimmel. Hill said Wednesday the investigation evolved into that of a potential prostitution operation.
The raidsAccording to police, officers raided a Warsaw hotel Wednesday evening and arrested four people on charges of promoting prostitution. Taken into custody were Donn Lee Rupert, 51, South Bend; Kimberly Kay Gill, 32, South Bend; Kelly Joe Whitman, 23, South Bend; and Christine Marie Bennett, 27, Warsaw.
Police then raided Stimmelators and California Dreamin’ shortly after midnight. According to Hill, officers seized a substantial amount of synthetic drugs or synthetic drug lookalike substances, as well as a large amount of cash. Police also searched a semi-trailer behind Stimmelators, and arrested Stimmel.
Officers from the Syracuse, Warsaw, Pierceton and North Webster police departments, along with the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department and Indiana State Police, took part in the search of Stimmel’s businesses.
In the wake of the Thursday morning raid, one North Webster businesswoman was supportive of the police action.