ALBION — A Brimfield man out on bond on a serious drug dealing charge was arrested following an incident Jan. 22 in which he allegedly led police on a slow-speed pursuit near his home.
Tony L. Skaggs, 53, of the 7100 block of North Main Street, Brimfield, was booked early Thursday morning by Noble County police on charges of possession of methamphetamine, a Level 6 felony; resisting law enforcement, a Level 6 felony; resisting law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor; and operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated-endangerment, a Class C misdemeanor. Skaggs was held without bond.
Skaggs was out on bond after being arrested and charged with a Level 2 felony meth-dealing charge in early July.
Skaggs had posted $100,000 bond on July 23 and was released.
His next scheduled court appearance on that July case is set for final pre-trial conference on Feb. 25, with a trial scheduled for March 24-27 in Noble County.
Now, Skaggs finds himself in more hot water.
According to Noble County Sheriff’s Department Sheriff Max Weber, Deputy Trevor Lortie was driving west on U.S. 6 at approximately 10:58 p.m. Wednesday when Lortie observed a Blue Ford Escort fail to signal a turn in the Brimfield area.
Lortie proceeded to activate his emergency lights, but the vehicle did not stop until it had reached the area of Skaggs’ residence.
Lortie approached the car and identified the driver as Skaggs. Skaggs allegedly refused to get out of the vehicle and rolled up his window and locked his doors, before eventually driving away.
Driving at slow speeds, Skaggs allegedly led police in a large circle around the Brimfield area. According to Weber, Lortie allegedly could see Skaggs emptying a white substance through an open window as he drove.
Skaggs eventually came to a stop back near his residence, but allegedly refused police commands and Weber said Lortie and Indiana Conservation Officer Adam Bailey had to forcefully take Skaggs into custody.
A white plastic baggie found near the driver’s side door allegedly tested positive for methamphetamine, Weber said.
The current Level 2 felony drug charge came as the result of a task force of local police agencies that served two search warrants in Ligonier July 8, one at 1015 Third St., then a second warrant at 407 Lincolnway West.
While executing those search warrants, police arrested six people — Kitty Hasse; Tony L. Skaggs; Tony J. Skaggs; Kursty Fugate; Bradley Davis and Pedro Macias.
Police reportedly recovered “a significant amount of narcotics” at the Third Street address, including methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin and marijuana. Five of the six people arrested in the raids were located at the Third Street property.
Noble County Prosecuting Attorney James Mowery filed official charges on July 12:
• Tony L. Skaggs, then-52, of Wawaka was charged with conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 2 felony;
• Hasse, 53, of Ligonier, was charged with conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 2 felony; dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 2 felony; and three counts of neglect of a dependent, a Level 6 felony;
• Tony J. (TJ) Skaggs, 28, of Ligonier, was charged with conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 2 felony; dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 3 felony; dealing in a narcotic drug, a Level 3 felony; and theft of a firearm, a Level 6 felony;
• Fugate, 31, of Ligonier, was charged with conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 2 felony; and neglect of a dependent, a Level 6 felony; and
• Davis, 34, of Albion, was charged with conspiracy to commit dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 2 felony.
“They had well-defined roles,” Mowery said Tuesday. “They were certainly able to tell us what their roles were.”
The conspiracy charge was filed because “they all agreed to sell drugs, and took various steps toward accomplishing that goal,” Mowery said.
The investigation was conducted by Noble County Sheriff’s Department’s Narcotics Division, the Kosciusko County Drug Task Force, the Ligonier Police Department and the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
Also on July 8, police executed a search warrant at the home of Pedro Macias, 407 Lincolnway West.
Police had allegedly attempted to make a controlled buy of methamphetamine from Macias at his home on July 3.
Macias, 46, allegedly stated he did not have as much methamphetamine as the purchaser wanted, but he could travel a couple of blocks away to one of his sources of supply, according to court documents.
Macias was followed to the residence at 1015 W. Third St., then returned to his residence where he delivered methamphetamine to the purchaser in exchange for $40, according to court documents.
Macias also had allegedly been documented selling methamphetamine on June 20, in an amount at least 5 grams but less than 10 grams.
Macias was charged with dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 3 felony; and dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 4 felony.
Macias allegedly told investigators he “has been getting his dope” from an individual named “TJ” and “TJ” lives with “TJ”’s mom and sister, according to court documents.