BAINBRIDGE -- Putnam County played a part Tuesday in a multi-state effort to disrupt an illegal drug ring with ties to Mexico.
Local sheriff's deputies were called Tuesday to assist the D.E.A. in serving an arrest warrant at a Bainbridge home where the resident was suspected of being a part of this ring.
Authorities arrested 61-year-old Jesus Lopez, residing at 6919 E. U.S. 36, Bainbridge, after serving a search warrant at 6 a.m., according to Putnam County Chief Deputy Doug Nally who assisted at the scene with Deputies Tom Helmer and Craig Sibbitt and Reserve Deputy Nate O'Hair.
Nally said the D.E.A. was hoping to retrieve documents that would tie Lopez to the drug ring. In all, the agency made six similar raids in central Indiana on Tuesday in addition to several stings in other states.
"It was my understanding that they were looking for any documents that might connect him to drug trafficking," Nally said.
What they retrieved, according to Nally, was an ounce-and-a-half of cocaine and a handgun.
Lopez is being held in the Putnam County Jail awaiting an initial court appearance.
"My understanding is he is an illegal alien," Nally said.
There was nothing unusual about the arrest, according to Nally. A drug dog was called in to search the premises and Lopez surrendered without a fight. But something at the scene did make an impression on Nally and the other officers.
"The property was full of animals," Nally said.
He said he saw horses, emus, goats, dogs and perhaps 150 or so chickens on the property. In all, Nally estimated Lopez was caring for around 200 animals at the property.
"I guess that was Mr. Lopez' job," Nally said.
He said the animals appeared to be in a state of good health.
The property's owner, who is in Mexico, said he would see the animals were taken care of, however, Nally said he called back to say he could not take care of the animals. The Hendricks County Humane Society has agreed to retrieve and care for the animals, Nally said.