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Figure in pot ring is arrested


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GREENFIELD — One of the alleged suppliers for a cross-country marijuana trafficking ring is in custody months after sheriff’s deputies raided a local restaurant where packages of pot were being delivered, records state.

Lucas Johnson, 30, had been living in California, and local police have been working with authorities there since last fall to apprehend him. Johnson was booked into the Hancock County late last week, jail logs show.

Charges were brought against 11 people in November, including Kelley Thompson, who was managing Smokin’ Hog BBQ at the time and had packages of marijuana delivered to the restaurant, court records state. Smokin’ Hog has since gone out of business and was at one point listed for sale on eBay for $75,000.

Thompson admitted to police she had been serving as an intermediary in the drug-trafficking operation, receiving packages of marijuana in the mail at both the restaurant and her home and then returning money to the shippers in California, court records state.

Thompson told police Johnson would call or text her with tracking numbers so she could track packages that were en route.

During the investigation, police ran Johnson’s address through Google maps, which showed an aerial photo of the California home where Johnson was living.

The image also revealed what police believe was a marijuana garden next to the house, court records state.

In Greenfield, police raided the business in the 1700 block of Melody Lane in late October after conducting surveillance for several weeks. On the day of the raid, Thompson was seen carrying a box believed to be full of marijuana into Smokin’ Hog during business hours, police said.

During the raid, investigators found multiple pre-packaged sandwich bags containing marijuana, as well as a box containing four pounds of the drug. Inside a Hello Kitty notebook were handwritten records, including a California shipping address where the drugs are believed to have originated.

A total of 36 pounds of marijuana – roughly $162,000 worth in street value, police said – was seized from multiple locations during the investigation, police said.

Johnson is charged with two counts of dealing marijuana and one count of corrupt business influence, all Class C felonies. He pleaded not guilty to the charges, and his bond was set at $5,000 cash.

He returns to court Thursday for a bail review hearing, presumably at which he will ask the judge to reduce his bond.

Thompson’s stepsister, Carey Wilson; and Wilson’s boyfriend, Robert Murnan, were charged in November as well, along with four additional suspects from Hancock, Madison and Marion counties.

Thompson is charged maintaining a common nuisance and possession of marijuana as Class D felonies and dealing marijuana and corrupt business influence as Class C felonies.

Wilson is charged with seven felonies: two counts of dealing marijuana (Class C); two counts of maintaining a common nuisance (Class D); two counts of possession of marijuana (Class D); and one count of corrupt business influence (Class C).

Murnan faces six felony charges including two counts of dealing marijuana (Class C); two counts of maintaining a common nuisance (Class D); one count of corrupt business influence (Class C); and one count of possession of marijuana (Class D). He is also charged with a misdemeanor count of possession of paraphernalia.

Christopher Riggle of Indianapolis is charged with two counts of dealing marijuana and one count of corrupt business influence, all Class C felonies.

Anna Belle Roberts of Greenfield is charged with two felony counts of dealing marijuana (Class C); two felony counts of possession of marijuana (Class D); one felony count of possession of cocaine/narcotic drug (Class D); and one count of corrupt business influence (Class C).

Loren Livingstone of Greenfield is charged with six felonies: two counts of dealing marijuana (Class C); two counts of possession of marijuana (Class D); one count of possession of cocaine/narcotic drug (Class D); and one count of maintaining a common nuisance (Class D).

Robin Armstrong of Pendleton is charged with two counts of dealing marijuana, both Class C felonies, and two counts of possession of marijuana, both Class D felonies.

Johnson’s first pre-trial hearing is in April. The remainder of the defendants return to court Feb. 27.

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