Joint task force arrests 2 in Columbus on drug charges


Kelly D. Starke and Troy E. Smith

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COLUMBUS, Ind. — Two people were arrested on multiple drug charges in Bartholomew County on Wednesday.

The Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team (JNET) in Bartholomew County served a search warrant at 6770 S County Road 650 West on July 3 as part of an ongoing narcotics investigation.

According to JNET, detectives found narcotics and paraphernalia in the home of Troy E. Smith, 54, and Kelly D. Starke, 31, while they were away.

As officers searched the residence, Smith and Starke returned home and attempted to flee the after noticing police presence.

Police say a tire deflation device was used and the two were eventually taken into custody.

Smith and Starke were transported to the Bartholomew County Jail and face charges including dealing in methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, illegal drug labs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

JNET is a combined unit of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, the Columbus Police Department and the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s Office that proactively targets the manufacturing and abuse of dangerous drugs in Columbus and Bartholomew County.

JNET says this is an ongoing investigation and additional charges are possible.

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