Gary Beatty, 27, with no home address, was sentenced Wednesday, June 25, 20 in Marshall Superior Court Number 1 to 10 years imprisonment for manufacturing methamphetamine while traveling in a vehicle. In open court, Beatty admitted that on September 17, 2013, he was manufacturing methamphetamine while in a vehicle being driven around the county.
Judge Robert O. Bowen approved an agreement reached between Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman and defense attorney Tom A. Black, which provided for a 10 year sentence of imprisonment at the Indiana Department of Corrections. No part of the sentence was suspended. Bowen ordered Beatty to intensive drug rehabilitation as part of the Purposeful Incarceration program.
The case began at 10:12 a.m. on September 17, when a concerned and alert citizen called Marshall County 911 on their cellular phone after she observed suspicious activity within a car that the caller suspected was drug related. The caller described the vehicle in detail along with the license plate. Marshall County Sheriff Deputy Ryan Hollopeter responded to the area and located the vehicle. Under normal circumstances the officer would not be permitted to pull the vehicle over unless he too observed the activity. But in this case, the license plate number returned to a different vehicle and it was also expired.
After a routine stop, Officer Hollopeter’s training took over and he observed many characteristics that no good was afoot. Since the driver of the vehicle could not provide a valid registration and current insurance, Officer Hollopeter decided to impound the vehicle. An inventory then revealed an active methamphetamine one pot lab, and numerous items associated with the manufacturing of meth. Also found was an item that appeared to be a stick of dynamite. Consequently, the South Bend Bomb Squad was called in, and after several hours it was determined the device was a look alike device manufactured to appear like dynamite. The Indiana State Police Methamphetamine Eradication Team was also on location for several hours waiting to properly dispose of the meth related items. Officers Les McFarland and Jonathon Bryant assisted in the investigation.
Chipman praised the citizen for taking the initiative and calling in the suspicious activity that turned out to be the very real production of methamphetamine on the highway. “Without people like the caller, our job to discover and close down these mobile labs would be that much more difficult,” Chipman emphasized.