(Aurora, Ind.) - An investigation into a sex offender residing too close to an Aurora day care turned into a drug bust on Sunday, March 3.
Aurora Police learned from a concerned citizen that registered sex offender Joshua Howe, 26, was allegedly living at a home at 144 Conwell Street. That’s a problem because the home is within 1,000 feet of the Lollipops & Rainbows day care center.
Investigators say Howe reported his new address to the Dearborn County Sheriff’s Department on Friday, March 1. Howe’s probation officer told police that he was on probation for previously failing to register as a sex offender.
Police searched the Conwell Street home. In addition to three children ages 10, 7, and 6 living in the home, investigators found evidence of marijuana packaged for sale and delivery. Multiple items of marijuana usage were also found.
The children belonged to resident Felicia Brightwell, 27.
Howe was arrested on a laundry list of charges. He remains in the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center on charges of Sex Offender Registry Offense (Class D felony), Maintaining a Common Nuisance (Class D felony), Possession of Marijuana (Class A misdemeanor), Possession of Marijuana with a Prior Conviction (Class D felony), and Possession of Paraphernalia (Class A misdemeanor).
Brightwell, of Aurora, is charged with Maintaining a Common Nuisance (Class D felony), Possession of Marijuana (Class A misdemeanor), Possession of Paraphernalia (Class A misdemeanor), Dealing in Marijuana (Class A misdemeanor), and three counts of Neglect of a Dependant (Class D felony).
Two others were arrested at the same time. Jason Bice, 27, of Lawrenceburg, is accused of Possession of Marijuana (Class A misdemeanor) and Possession of Paraphernalia (Class A misdemeanor).
Stephen Wirthlin, 43, of Aurora, is accused of Possession of Paraphernalia (Class A misdemeanor) and Visiting a Common Nuisance (Class B misdemeanor).
“This case represents what citizens working together with the police can accomplish to make Aurora a safer city and help improve the quality of life for all,” said Aurora Chief of Police Bryan Fields.
Fields credited the law enforcement officers who worked the case: Shane Slack, Travis Pendergast, Lorraine Oguz, Brent Casebolt, and Steve Kelly.