ALBION — Prosecutors will get some extra time to sort out the details and file formal charges after raiding two Ligonier residences on Monday.
After a closed-door probable cause hearing in Noble Superior Court 1 Tuesday afternoon, a judge found that probable cause does exist to charge suspects with a crime and granted until 10 a.m. Friday for the Noble County Prosecutor’s Office to file charges against the six people arrested.
A task force of local police agencies served two search warrants in Ligonier early Monday morning, 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.
According to Indiana law, a person arrested by police can be held for up to 48 hours without a determination that probable cause exists to continue holding them.
Normally, officers file a probable cause affidavit detailing what occurred to lead them to arrest the suspect. That sworn document is then filed as part of the initial court record when prosecutors enter formal charges with the court.
If charges are not filed within that time period, police have to let the person go.
In rare instances, prosecutors require more time to prepare charges and therefore can petition the court to establish probable cause and gain an extension of up to 72 hours.
That’s what occurred in this instance.
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.
“Due to the number of individuals involved, the nature of the allegations and the substantial amount of physical evidence to be processed and reviewed, the additional time is necessary to determine what charges are appropriate for each individual,” Noble County Prosecutor Jim Mowery said in a release after Tuesday’s hearing.
“The Office of the Noble County Prosecuting Attorney has a responsibility to the public, to our partners in law enforcement and to the suspects who have been arrested,” Mowery said. “We take each responsibility very seriously, which is why we are taking the extra time which Indiana law allows us to use to make the best and most accurate charging decisions possible.”
Some of the people arrested Monday had been booked into the Noble County Jail on preliminary charges as high as a Level 2 felony, although the final charges filed by prosecutors may end up being different.