Police seize drugs at Cloverdale motel

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Terre Haute man is behind bars following a drug search at a Cloverdale motel earlier this week.

Mark A. Chandler was arrested near the Econolodge motel on Sunday after Putnam County Sheriff's deputies found 47 grams of methamphetamine and $1,500 cash in his possession.

Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter has charged Chandler with possession of methamphetamine, dealing in methamphetamine, criminal confinement, possession of a switchblade knife and intimidation.

"The amount of meth seized is very significant," Bookwalter said in announcing the charges Wednesday. "It appears to be crystal meth and not cooked locally."

According to a report filed by Deputy Virgil Lanning, the officer was at a Cloverdale gas station at around 7 p.m. Sunday when a woman came running up to him stating, "He's trying to kill me." The woman was crying and in a state of hysteria.

The woman, Carrie Fields, 27, of Pimento, Ind., told police that a man, who she identified as Chandler, took her to the motel to engage in sexual acts but that she refused.

The woman told police Chandler then took her to a nearby McDonald's restaurant where he threatened to beat her up and have her killed. It was at that time that Fields fled to the sheriff's deputy who was responding to an unrelated call at the nearby BP gas station.

Sheriff's Deputy Matt Demmings responded to the gas station where he approached Chandler in a blue Pontiac Sunfire. Chandler denied the accusations and was arrested at the gas station.

According to the police report, sheriff's officers conducted a search of Chandler's vehicle and found a substance which later tested positive for crystal methamphetamine. They also reported finding a glass vial containing a powdery substance along with several knives.

Upon a search of the motel room, officers also found a set of scales and a bag containing white crystals. They located a safe in Chandler's car that contained approximately $1,500 in cash.

If convicted, Chandler could face up to 50 years in prison, the prosecutor said. He is being held at the Putnam County Jail on a $50,000 cash bond.

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