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Former sheriff’s deputy accused of using squad car to protect massive drug operation

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GREENFIELD, Ind. (Jan. 15, 2016) -- A former Hendricks county sheriff’s deputy is charged with assisting a major illegal drug operation.

Thursday, prosecutors in Hancock County charged Jason Woods with numerous crimes including dealing synthetic drugs, bribery and official misconduct.

Woods made his first court appearance Friday morning.

The suspect hasn’t worked for Hendricks county since 2014, when both he and his wife were fired for alleged misconduct.

Court documents now claim the suspect used his squad car to provide protection for the drug ring.

Inside a home in New Palestine, more than 1,300 pounds of synthetic drugs were seized in 2013, in one of the largest synthetic drug busts in the nation.

Jason Woods is now accused of using his position in law enforcement to safely escort the drugs.

“Mr. Woods, while he was sheriff’s deputy, did provide security and assistance to this conspiracy to deal narcotics,” said Hancock county prosecutor Brent Eaton.

Eaton claims that several suspects arrested and charged for manufacturing and packaging the drugs inside a warehouse in Indianapolis implicated former deputy Woods.

Prosecutors claim Woods used his Hendricks county squad car to ward off any suspicion while the drugs were being moved.

According to court records, “The idea was that if a police officer was behind them while they transported the product they would be protected.” Woods also allegedly, “received gifts including trips to Las Vegas in exchange for providing safety and security.”

“Mr. Woods benefited with trips to places around the United States as a result of his involvement with the conspiracy,” said Eaton.

In 2014, Jason and Teresa Woods were both arrested in Boone county on allegations of drug possession.

At that time, prosecutors say they found synthetic drugs and cash in a locked safe at a family home in Lebanon.

Prosecutor Eaton says it’s certainly disappointing when someone sworn to uphold the law breaks that vow.

“I know that Hendricks county terminated Mr. Woods in 2014, so he no longer works in law enforcement, but he did when these acts occurred and anytime that happens we take that seriously,” said Eaton.

Woods was booked into the Hancock county jail. His wife is not charged with any wrongdoing in this case. Calls to the suspect's attorney were not returned.

In a strange twist, the affidavit claims Woods used to smoke spice with Russell Taylor, the former head of the Jared Foundation, before Taylor was sentenced in a child pornography case.