INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – An ongoing investigation into several overdoses near Wheeler Mission downtown led to multiple search warrants and the seizure of guns, drugs and money, police say.
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan police department, narcotics detectives and Flex Team offices executed three warrants on Thursday, Feb. 22, in connection with the Jan. 30 overdoses, which affected dozens of people at the shelter and the nearby area.
Police said those who overdosed displayed bizarre behavior, running into walls, passing out and, in at least one case, trying to bite other people. Investigators believed the individuals overdosed on synthetic marijuana (also called “spice” or “Katie”), which had been mixed with a chemical to increase its potency.
Investigators told FOX59 News, they don't know what the chemical is or if it's legal. Police said the unknown chemical was being mixed by drug dealers before selling it to users.
"It has been seen before in other cities, other departments, causing the same type of zombie like effects, so it's something that’s been brought here," said IMPD Lt. Brian Churchill.
Police previously arrested two people in connection with the case and continued to investigate the source of the drug, which they traced to drug houses that they believed were supplying low-level dealers.
Around 2:45 p.m. on Feb. 22, probation officers were monitoring 26-year-old Antonio Lamb at a home in the 500 block of North Keystone Avenue. Detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence and conducted a search. Officers found a tub filled with seven pounds of synthetic marijuana, marijuana and a handgun. Lamb was arrested on charges of dealing in a synthetic drug, escape, possession of a synthetic drug and possession of marijuana. Investigators said he was selling the powerful and deadly drugs from his home, which is right across the street from an elementary school.
Around 7 p.m., IMPD SWAT officers and detectives executed another search warrant at a home in the 300 block of North Gladstone Avenue. Detectives seized three bags of synthetic marijuana, two digital scales and a stolen .45-caliber handgun. They arrested Shamar Brown, 39, for an outstanding warrant in a marijuana case and Dominic Johnson, 32, for an outstanding warrant on a gun charge.
Around 9 p.m., SWAT officers executed a third search warrant at a home in the 600 block of North Oxford Street. They found a bag containing large bags of synthetic marijuana, a loaded handgun, a digital scale and an unknown chemical that was being mixed with the synthetic drug. An additional search turned up more bags of synthetic marijuana, more scales, pills, two additional handguns and more than $5,000 in cash. Authorities seized nearly three pounds of synthetic marijuana during the search.
Chester Irons, 26, was arrested on charges of unlawful possession of a handgun, dealing in a synthetic drug and possession of a synthetic drug in connection with the North Oxford Street search.
Lt. Churchill said he's confident the drugs are out of the shelter, but police are still keeping a close eye on those involved.
"The word on the street is that we got all of it, but that doesn’t mean that a shipment doesn’t show up this afternoon or tonight and they set back up shop," Lt. Churchill said.
The investigation into the overdoses continues, police said.