Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

June 10, 2014

Synthetic drug sting nets 20 arrests in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties

Highly-coordinated, two-county sting yields 20 arrests on Monday

ELKHART — The Elkhart County Prosecutor’s office announced Tuesday the arrests of 20 people Monday during an ongoing investigation into the sale of synthetic drugs in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties.

According to Elkhart County Prosecutor Curtis Hill, the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department, in coordination with St. Joseph County police, executed 13 search warrants simultaneously at 3 p.m. Monday.

St. Joseph County Prosecutor Mike Dvorak said seven search warrants were executed in that jurisdiction with nine arrested being made. Six businesses and a home in Granger were targeted, he said. Hill said six warrants were executed in Elkhart County, resulting in 11 arrests.

According to Hill, the investigation began last year and has been thorough in the attempt to stop the sale of synthetic drugs altogether.

“We didn’t want to just go in and make arrests, we wanted to stop the problem,” Hill said. “Our targets were the people who owned the operation. But what we really have here is not just somebody selling a little bit of drugs, we have a criminal enterprise, we have people engaged in business who are operating illegal activities and putting the monies of those illegal activities back into their enterprise. That’s called ‘corrupt business influence’ and we have a crime for that in the state of Indiana.”

'Massive undertaking'

Hill said 87 law enforcement officers were part of the “massive undertaking” of raids that included members of the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department, the Elkhart city police, Indiana State police, South Bend police, St. Joseph County police, the Indiana Excise police, Elkhart County Interdiction and Covert Enforcement Unit, the Elkhart and St. Joseph counties prosecuting attorney’s offices, the Drug Enforcement Agency and Homeland Security.

The owners of several of the targeted businesses are Gurcharn “John” Singh, 43 and Jaswinder “Jasmine” Kaur, 37, both of Granger, who were arrested on charges of racketeering, dealing of a synthetic or a synthetic drug look-a-like and money laundering, all felonies, Hill said.

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