Search for suspect in undercover meth buys results in new case, more charges PDF Print E-mail
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Tuesday, 14 February 2017 15:43

 

The search late last week for a suspected drug pusher not only resulted in the manâ??s arrest but also a new, more serious felony case against him.

Detective Don Campbell, Austinâ??s newest officer, received a tip about sales of methamphetamine (meth) reportedly made in Austin by Jason A. Eldridge, 38, Crothersville.

Supposedly, Eldridge was living with a relative in Austin, the officer said he learned. Eldridge purportedly made contact with potential drug buyers by walking around the community.

An undercover buy of the illegal substance took place on January 26, with Det. Campbell and Patrolman Scott McCoskey observing the transaction involving Eldridge. For $100, the buyer allegedly got .75 grams of meth.

Another buy was set up on January 27 by the officers with Scottsburg officers Patrolman Troy Ford and Sgt./Detective Steven Herald joining the team. $100 this time gained a purchase of .96 grams.

Det. Campbell went to Prosecutor Chris Owens with his evidence, and a warrant was issued for Eldridgeâ??s arrest on February 8 on two counts of Level 5 felony dealing in meth. Officers fanned out to try to locate Eldridge.

Austin Patrolman Scott McCoskey stated in a probable cause affidavit that he spoke with the Austin relative on February 10 in an attempt to locate Eldridge. The relative told the officer that he would contact authorities if his brother came back to his apartment.

On Saturday, February 11, Ptl. McCoskey returned to the apartment complex. As he approached the building in which the relative lived, McCoskey stated that he noticed a man who saw McCoskeyâ??s police car and ran back into the building.

Figuring that the man was Eldridge, McCoskey stopped his squad car and ran to the back of the building, thinking Eldridge would attempt to avoid him by coming out a back door. Eldridge did try, but after running some distance from the officer, he slipped and fell on a muddy patch of ground. Eldridge was placed in handcuffs.

During the foot chase, Ptl. McCoskey said he saw Eldridge throw some items away. he searched the area and said he recovered three plastic baggies, each apparently containing meth.

Eldridge was also searched by Ptl. McCoskey, who said he found another baggie in the manâ??s pocket along with $103.64, a digital scale, his cell phone and a collection of what appeared to be antique coins.

All of the substances in the baggies field-tested positively for meth. Its total weight was 6.1 grams.

Eldridge appeared Monday morning, February 13 for his initial hearings on the two felony cases. In the original case filed February 8, bail was fixed at $50,000 by corporate surety bond or $5,000 cash. In the new case filed Monday, he is charged with a Level 2 felony count of dealing meth, Level 4 felony possession of meth and misdemeanors of resisting law enforcement and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bail in that case is set at $75,000 by surety bond or $7,500 cash.

In both cases, a jury trial was scheduled for May 16. A public defender has been assigned to the cases.