Police arrest Columbus man considered ‘large-scale’ heroin dealer in Bartholomew County

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Matthew Zook and Tasha Barnes

Update (Aug. 13, 2018)– Zook received a sentence of 20 years, 12 of which will be executed at the Department of Correction.

Update (Oct. 12, 2017)– Barnes received a suspended sentence and will serve two years on probation. Zook’s trial is scheduled for Jan. 23.

Original story:

COLUMBUS, Ind. – Officers arrested two people, including a man police consider a “large-scale heroin dealer,” following a traffic stop this week.

Matthew Zook, 34, and Tasha Barnes, 34, both from Columbus, were arrested after police observed their vehicle committing a traffic violation Tuesday night on County Road 800 North. Investigators believe Zook was on his way to Cincinnati to buy heroin and bring it back to Bartholomew County.

A police K-9 alerted officers to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle, police said. A search turned up 34 grams of heroin along with methamphetamine, marijuana, Suboxone strips and drug paraphernalia. Police also found cash and a handgun.

Authorities with the Bartholomew County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team said numerous tips and interviews with witnesses and overdose victims identified Zook as a “large-scale” heroin dealer in the area.

Charges against Zook and Barnes include dealing heroin, possession of heroin, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance. Zook faces an additional count of possession of a handgun without a permit.