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Police and fire

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100 bags of heroin, meth lab seized

Shawn Luther Morton
Dawn Ellen Morton
William Kim Sanford
Rachel A. Truex

More than a half-dozen people were detained after an undercover purchase of heroin led to an active meth lab and more than 100 small bags of heroin, officials said.

The joint sting operation Wednesday of the Warsaw Police Department and Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department might be the largest heroin bust in county history, according to a statement from the departments.

It said that drug officers first bought the heroin and then learned about a possible methamphetamine lab at a home on the southeast side of Big Chapman Lake.

Officers found an active meth lab and a hydrogen chloride gas generator at the home in the 3100 block of Stoneburner Road, the statement said. They arrested Shawn Luther Morton, 50, of Warsaw, on a preliminary charge of dealing and manufacturing methamphetamine over 3 grams. His bond was set at $20,000.

His wife, Dawn Ellen Morton, 47, was also arrested on a preliminary charge of dealing and manufacturing methamphetamine. Her bond was set at $20,000.

The police said officers also found marijuana and drug paraphernalia at the home. The Indiana State Police Clandestine Lab Team was called in to deal with the hazardous materials.

Undercover officers from both departments then arrested Adam Perry Shay, 21, of Elkhart, on a preliminary charge of felony possession of a schedule I, II, or III controlled substance in connection with the heroin purchase, the statement said. His bond was set at $2,000.

That arrest led officers to the Whispering Pines Mobile Home Park south of Leesburg, with the Warsaw/Kosciusko County SWAT team converging on one of the units shortly before 1:25 a.m.

Officers reported finding two firearms inside, along with more than 100 small bags containing heroin.

Several people were taken into custody:

  • William Kim Sanford, 34, of Warsaw, preliminarily charged with dealing in a narcotic drug. Bond was set at $20,000.
  • Rachel A. Truex, 30, of Warsaw, preliminarily charged with dealing in a narcotic drug. Bond was set at $20,000.
  • One of two juveniles at the mobile home was taken to a juvenile detention facility, and police said it appears the youth was involved in distributing the heroin.
  • A 19-year-old man from Chicago was preliminarily charged with visiting a common nuisance. Bond was set at $350.

The exact amount of heroin seized was not immediately available.

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