The Dubois County Prosecutor’s office says the first sentence has been handed down for a defendant of Operation Double Trouble.
Of course on June 4th local law enforcement officers began serving arrest warrants for drug dealing offenses stemming from the investigation which resulted in authorities serving 18 individuals with arrest warrants as part of 2 rounds of arrests for drug dealing charges in Dubois and Spencer Counties.
The prosecutor’s office says 24-year old Bryce Sadler of Jasper, was the first Operation Double Trouble defendant to enter into a plea agreement and was sentenced yesterday in the Dubois County Superior Court.
Sadler entered into an agreement with prosecutors that called for him to plead guilty to Dealing in Methamphetamine, a Level 5 felony, and serve 2 years at the Indiana Department of Correction.
The agreement called for this sentence to run consecutively to a 180 day sentence that Sadler is currently serving at the Dubois County Security Center for Possession of Paraphernalia and Carrying a Handgun Without a License, both Class A misdemeanors.
Chief Deputy Prosecutor Beth Sermersheim stated that this Operation will differ in the length of jail sentences that will be handed down to the defendants.
Thus far, defendants of Operation Big Brother have received a total of 141 years in sentences, with 113 of those years served in jail.
34-year old Ryan Groeschen of Ferdinand, is the most recent Operation Big Brother defendant to enter into a plea agreement.
Last Tuesday August the 11th, Groeschen entered into a plea agreement with prosecutors that called for him to plead guilty to Dealing in a Schedule III Controlled Substance, a Class B felony, and be sentenced to 12 years, with the first 8 served at the Indiana Department of Correction, followed by the last 4 on Work Release.
Sermersheim says that due to changes in the Indiana Criminal Code in July 2014, drug dealing offenses are punished much less harshly. Many of the offenses charged as part of Operation Double Trouble are Level 5 felonies, which are only punishable by a sentence of 1 to 6 years.
Under the old criminal code, most dealing offenses were classified as Class B felonies, which were punishable by a sentence of 6 to 20 years. Sermersheim stated that it’s unfortunate that they are longer able to hand down lengthy sentences for drug dealing offenses.