Investigation nets 2 pounds of meth, six guns

Deputy Leah Burton. Photo courtesy of Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department.

The Bartholomew County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team confiscated six guns about two pounds of methamphetamine, and arrested four people in an investigation centered around a Maize Drive home Tuesday.

According to the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department a deputy stopped a vehicle and her police dog alerted to the smell of narcotics inside. A search revealed 145 grams of meth and a handgun. 36-year-old Rodney Varela of Columbus was arrested on charges including dealing in methamphetamine, possession of meth and drug paraphernalia, possessing a handgun without a license, maintaining a common nuisance and operating a vehicle without ever receiving a driver’s license.

The SWAT team executed the search warrant in the 2700 block of Maize Drive. There officers found 764 grams of meth, two rifles, two handguns, a shotgun and several glass smoking devices. 18-year-old Jessica Bernardino and 19 year old Miguel Claiborne, both of Columbus were arrested on charges of maintaining a common nuisance and possession of paraphernalia.

A woman was also stopped as she left the residence and information  against her has been forwarded to the county prosecutor’s office for possible charges.

Other agencies involved included: U.S. Postal Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Columbus Police Department Intelligence Lead Policing.