04/04/13 Terry A. Kovacs, Jr. of Cook Lake Trail, Plymouth was sentenced Wednesday in Marshall Superior Court 1 to consecutive sentences of 10 years each for dealing in and manufacturing methamphetamine. In open court today, Kovacs admitted that on January 12, 2012 he delivered methamphetamine to another individual at the Pak A Sak Shell Station on Jefferson Street in Plymouth. Kovacs also admitted that on May 21, 2012, in his home on Cook Lake Trail he manufactured methamphetamine.
Pro-tem Judge Walter Palmer approved the plea agreement reached between Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney E. Nelson Chipman, Jr. and defense attorney Ed Ruiz, which provided for a sentence in the Indiana Department of Corrections of 10 years for the dealing charge and 10 years for the manufacturing charge. The agreement provided for the sentences to run consecutively, meaning the sentences will run one after the other for a total of 20 years. Five years of the sentence for manufacturing was suspended, and Kovacs will then be placed on probation for two years after his 15 years in prison.
The investigation started in January of last year when an individual working with the Undercover Narcotics Investigation Team (UNIT) was offered methamphetamine by Kovacs. Eventually a sale was arranged between the individual and Kovacs at a local gas station in Plymouth. Several officers where in the vicinity watching as the sale took place.
Another purchase of methamphetamine was arranged and completed on January 24, 2012, this time at Kocacs’ residence on Cook Lake Trail. At that time Kovacs’ allegedly tried to convince the individual to start a business operation of manufacturing and selling methamphetamine.
Numerous other anonymous tips and information was obtained during the investigation that pointed to substantial drug activity occurring at the Cook Lake Trail home of Kovacs. In addition, loss prevention employees at the Plymouth Wal-Mart supplied information that throughout the previous year, Kovacs and several unidentified women would visit Wal-Mart and purchase precursors and products used for the manufacturing of meth two to three times a week, sometimes two to three times a day.
Based upon this information, officers of the UNIT obtained a search warrant signed by Judge Robert O. Bowen for a search of the Kovacs residence that eventually took place on May 21, 2012. The results of the search revealed an extensive methamphetamine manufacturing operation, and the arrest of Kovacs and two females, Christina Padilla and Jenny Keeton. Padilla was convicted on December 6, 2012 of Aiding in the Commission of the Offense of Manufacturing of Methamphetamine and sentenced by agreement to ten years, with 4 years of that sentence suspended for a total sentence in prison of 6 years. Keeton was convicted on November 5, 2012 by agreement to Possession of Precursors with the Intent to Manufacture Methamphetamine and Theft, both Class D felonies and was sentenced to one year in prison on each charge, with the sentences running concurrent. One aspect of those agreements required Padilla and Keeton to testify against Kovacs.
Assisting in the investigation, arrest and prosecution of the case were officers from the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department, the Marshall County Undercover Narcotics Investigation Team (UNIT), the Plymouth Police Department, the Indiana State Police and the Marshall County Prosecutor’s Office.