Township Deputy asserts that community residents will not tolerate suspected drug activity, and that tips continue to pour in.
An historic amount of heroin was seized in Bethel Township on the evening of Wednesday, November 12 after Bethel Township Deputy Alan Cox received an anonymous tip that drug activity was occurring at the Sunoco on Lower Valley Pike at Gerlaugh Road. Cox stressed that he did not act alone in completing the successful bust, crediting his co-workers along with the person who submitted the tip in ridding the area of more than one kilogram of heroin. In the days following the bust, Cox said he received even more tips of other suspected locations of drug activity, saying the residents of Bethel Township are becoming more and more vocal in leading law enforcement to suspected hot spots.
Weapons were also recovered from the home in the 10000 block of Gerlaugh, along with 1.5 kilograms of heroin, valued at more than $120,000.
The bust was initiated after Cox received an anonymous tip that drug deals were occurring at the Sunoco. Deputies and detectives from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office then staked out the gas station and witnessed drugs exchanging hands in the parking lot there.
A traffic stop was conducted immediately after deputies witnessed the exchange, where Robert Carpenter, 30, of Bethel Township, was pulled over. A search warrant was then obtained to search Carpenter’s house on Gerlaugh Road, where the heroin and weapons were discovered.
Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly referred to Carpenter as a “major drug trafficker,” saying multiple guns, cars, cash, and other items were recovered as well. Last week’s bust was the largest recovery of heroin made by a road deputy in Clark County history.
Carpenter appeared in court on Thursday, November 13, and pled not guilty to charges of drug trafficking, weapons under disability, and possession of drugs. His bond was set at $250,000.
Deputy Cox said that two days following Carpenter’s arrest, he received two more tips on suspected drug activity in the township, and he believes the tips will continue to roll in, based primarily on the relationships he has developed with township residents.
“People are beginning to speak out,” said Cox. “Based on this, law enforcement knows who’s doing the drugs, who’s selling the drugs, and who’s bringing the drugs into the community...people are starting to talk,” he said.
“We have major arteries running through our little township here,” Cox said of drug activity due to the area’s immediate access to many major highways. “Multiple people from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office partnered with the community to combat this disease,” he said of heroin usage. “We have a problem out here with drugs, and it’s massive,” said Cox.
Deputy Cox said he was “born and raised” in Bethel Township, which has contributed to the level of trust he receives from many members of the community. “People know they can trust me...when they give me a tip, I don’t tell anyone who it came from, we just get everyone on-board to act on it.”
Cox also said the township will soon implement an anonymous drug hotline for all residents of Bethel Township, including New Carlisle.