GREENFIELD — The colored “Sweet Tarts” police confiscated during the recent arrest of a Greenfield man look like candy off the shelves of any convenience store, but detectives say the man selling them laced the treats with drugs including Xanax and heroin.
Jeramie Smith, 30, 2195 N. West Bay Drive, pleaded not guilty Monday in Hancock Circuit Court to 14 drug dealing- and possession-related criminal charges — 10 felonies and four misdemeanors, records show.
Police had been tracking Smith’s movements for weeks, planning undercover drug buys — for both the candy and drugs including methamphetamine — from the man’s Greenfield apartment, records state.
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Investigators obtained a search warrant for the apartment late last week. Smith, who remained in Hancock County Jail Tuesday at press time, was home when officers showed up to his door, reports state.
Detectives caught Smith in the process of making the drug-laced candy, which was found scattered throughout the apartment as well as in baggies packaged for sale, according to charging documents filed Monday by the Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office.
Police reports state Smith was cooperative with officers who arrived to search his apartment, leading them to “locations of items he knew (they) were going to look for,” charging documents state.
He told officers he’s a meth abuser and showed investigators a number of drugs and chemicals he kept in his home, including the candy, morphine, meth and THC — the high-inducing chemical found in marijuana, court records state.
Officers counted 656 of the “Sweet Tarts” that had been doctored and prepared for sale, charging documents state.
Smith explained the process of making the candy, using powder — which he told officers “is legal in the United States but is not for human consumption” — mixed with alcohol to give the candy the effect of anti-anxiety medication, court documents state.
Smith didn’t admit to selling the candy, just said he “distributes them to a few of his friends,” charging documents state.
Smith believed his friends were selling the drugs, he said, but he said he didn’t know where or to whom; he estimated the street value of the candy at $4-$10 apiece, court records state.
Officers also found some 1,000 unprocessed candies they say Smith hadn’t yet laced with chemicals, court documents state.
Smith faces two Level 3 felonies; two Level 4 felonies; one Level 5 felony; five Level 6 felonies; three Class A misdemeanors; and one Class B misdemeanors.
Level 3 felonies carry a sentence of up to 16 years, while Level 4 felonies carry a sentence of up to 12 years.
Level 5 felonies carry a sentence of up to six years, and Level 6 felonies carry a sentence of up to two and a half years.
Class A misdemeanors carry a sentence of up to one year, while Class B misdemeanors carry a sentence of up to 180 days.
At press time, Smith remained in the Hancock County Jail, where he was being held on $20,000 cash bond.
Greenfield attorney Jim McNew has been appointed by the court to represent Smith, whose trial is slated for Sept. 12. Smith returns to court July 6 for a pre-trial hearing.