02/24/14 Derek Hahn, 21, of rural Plymouth, was sentenced on Wednesday (February 19, 2014) in Marshall Superior Court 1 to ten years of imprisonment at the Indiana Department of Corrections for manufacturing methamphetamine, a Class B felony. In open court, Hahn admitted he manufactured methamphetamine in his apartment located in the 200 block of Elliott Ave. in Plymouth on June 14, 2013.
Judge Robert O. Bowen approved an agreement reached between Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman and defense attorney Tom A. Black. Noting this was Mr. Hahn’s first involvement with the criminal justice system, the Prosecutor’s Office agreed to the suspension of four years of the term of imprisonment.
The case began at 2:00 a.m. on June 14 when Marshall County Police officer Brandon Cooper pulled over an erratically driven pickup truck being operated by Derek Hahn. Two other individuals were in the vehicle. Officer Cooper’s experience led him to conclude Hahn may be under the influence of drugs and arranged for testing at the Plymouth campus of St. Joseph Hospital. Bourbon Police Officer Matt Haskins and ISP Trooper Dave Caswell assisted Cooper. While awaiting test results, Hahn became talkative and admitted to have recently consumed methamphetamine by injection. Officer Cooper requested permission to search Hahn’s apartment and he at first refused. Later he gave his consent, and Cooper read him his rights in conjunction with a search of premises.
After lodging Hahn in the Marshall County Jail, Cooper met Plymouth Police Officers Tim Taberski, Chris Miller and Ben MacIntyre at the Elliott Avenue address and searched the apartment. Found were numerous items associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine, including Coleman fuel, Drano drain opener, coffee filters, and a cold pack container with the crystals removed and stored in clear baggies. Also found was a quantity of marijuana and hypodermic needles.
The defense attorney filed a motion to suppress the evidence obtained alleging the consent to search given by Hahn was not voluntary and was otherwise flawed. Chipman argued to the contrary that the officer went beyond what is required in informing a suspect of their rights with regard to the voluntary search of one’s home. At the hearing, Chipman had Cooper pull from the chest pocket of his uniform the laminated card supplied by the Prosecutor’s Office to all officers that recites on one side the Miranda warnings and on the other the Pirtle warnings relating to consensual searches of premises and demonstrate how he proceeded the night of the arrest. Judge Bowen ruled the search was legal and the evidence obtained was admissible. That decision led to resolving the case by plea agreement.
Chipman noted that as a first time offender, “We wish Mr. Hahn success in his rehabilitative efforts and truly hope this will be his only involvement. He is a young man with potential to be a productive citizen once he gets this behind him.”