"Possession is a crime and will be prosecuted, but drug dealers are the bigger problem and should be dealt with as such.”
Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel. File photo.
(Ripley County, Ind.) – The Ripley County Prosecutor’s Office has been busy showing drug dealers they are not welcome here.
Prosecuting attorney Ric Hertel is starting his 21st year in office making clear that drug dealers and manufacturers will be targeted and dealt with more harshly than users and addicts. He says that is the message the community has sent to him.
“Possession is a crime and will be prosecuted, but drug dealers are the bigger problem and should be dealt with as such,” Hertel said in a news release Tuesday.
Last year, Hertel became the first prosecutor in Indiana to charge an accused heroin dealer and the Batesville man he sold the drug to with murder after the buyer's wife fatally overdosed in 2017. Although the Indiana Court of Appeals would not allow the dealer to be charged with murder in a ruling issued last month, the case illustrates Hertel's disdain for those looking to make a buck by taking advantage of addicts' weakness.
Since the start of the year, six people have been convicted of dealing drugs in Ripley County. The drugs include methamphetamine and opioid pills. Each of them have received prison sentences between eight and 20 years.
Below is a list of the drug dealer convictions and sentencings in Ripley County so far this year, as provided by the prosecutor’s office:
- On January 15, 2019, Betty Richards was convicted of Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine, a Level 3 Felony. At the sentencing hearing, evidence was presented that Richards was in possession of approximately 8 grams of methamphetamine at her residence in Versailles and had been actively dealing methamphetamine to other individuals. The State argued that her criminal history, her history of probation violations, and her frequent dealing activity that sometimes occurred from a bedroom she shared with her own grandchildren warranted an aggravated sentenced. Richards was sentenced to 12 years to be served at the Department of Corrections.
- On the same day, Andrew Dailey was sentenced after previously being convicted of Dealing Methamphetamine, a Level 4 Felony. At the sentencing hearing, evidence was presented that Dailey delivered methamphetamine to an individual living in a house in Milan where two children were present while also possessing a handgun. Dailey was sentenced to 10 years to be served at the Department of Corrections with 2 of those years suspended to probation.
- On January 31, 2019, Nathan Strickling was convicted of Possession with Intent to Deal Methamphetamine, a Level 2 Felony. Strickling was found to be in possession of approximately 9 grams of methamphetamine along with a handgun in a residence located in Milan. Strickling had the methamphetamine individually packaged and further investigation of Strickling’s cell phone indicated frequent drug dealing activity. Strickling was sentenced to 30 years to be served at the Department of Corrections with 20 of those years suspended to probation.
- On the same day, Joseph Macvey was convicted of Dealing in a Schedule I, II, or III Controlled Substance, a Level 4 Felony. Macvey was located in the same residence as Nathan Strickling. A forensic analysis of Macvey’s cell phone revealed that he was actively selling prescription pills. Macvey was sentenced to 12 years to be served at the Department of Corrections with 4 of those years suspended to probation.
- On February 5, 2019, Teresa (a.k.a “Sis) Thornton (Teeters) was sentenced after previously being convicted of Dealing a Narcotic Drug, a Level 5 Felony, and a Habitual Offender Sentencing Enhancement. Thornton’s investigation revealed that she had dealt prescription pills, specifically oxycodone, which is an opioid-based pain-killer, to another individual from her apartment in the Sunman/Milan area. During the investigation, Thornton admitted to participating in multiple instances of dealing. During the sentencing hearing, the State argued that her significant criminal history, including multiple felonies and a previous drug dealing conviction in Dearborn County that she was still on probation for, and her history of probation violations warranted a lengthy prison sentence. Thornton was sentenced to 10 years to be served at the Department of Corrections.
- On February 12, 2019, Doug White was sentenced after previously being convicted of Possession with Intent to Deliver Methamphetamine, a Level 2 Felony. During the investigation, White was discovered to have approximately 26 grams of methamphetamine in his possession that he admitted were intended for future distribution to other individuals. The State argued that his extensive criminal history, including multiple felony convictions, and that this offense was committed while he was on probation in Jennings County should result in White receiving a significant sentence. White was sentenced to 20 years to be served at the Department of Corrections.