Check your card statements! Scott County residents among victims in apparent credit card fraud ring PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 23 March 2017 15:02


Four counts of Level 6 felony fraud and seven counts of Level 6 theft have been filed in Scott Circuit Court against a Florida man suspected of being part of a large credit card fraud ring operating in the Southern Indiana/Kentucky area was arrested in Scottsburg on Thursday, March 16.

Jose L. Rodriguez, 51, Miami, Fl., was arrested while pumping diesel fuel into a hidden tank on the vehicle he was driving. When placed in custody, Rodriguez apparently had identifications with addresses in Louisville, Jeffersonville and Florida.

Officers with the Scottsburg Police Department and Sheriff’s Department began working on the case around March 13 after several local merchants and residents reported the use of false credit cards at gas pumps and convenience stores. Cards used at the pumps reflected the information of other individuals.

As Detective/Sgt. Steven Herald began studying the cases, he noticed cards were being used at gas stations which have no operating surveillance cameras in this county and other communities.

The fraudulent cards were being used to buy diesel fuel. Det. Herald contacted local stations and asked them to instruct their personnel to be watchful for possible suspicious behavior involving such sales.

Thanks to an alert manager at the Casey’s gas station at the corner of West Lake and U.S. Highway 31 South in Scottsburg, a suspect was located just three days later.

When the manager reported that a man had made a maximum purchase of diesel fuel on one card and was continuing to pump diesel fuel using another card, Det. Herald and Patrolman Trevis Burr made a visit to the station and began talking to the man, later identified as Rodriguez. The numbers on the cards presented to them by Rodriguez did not match the numbers of accounts being charged for the fuel.

Rodriguez had a total of 27 prepaid cards in his possession. All had been “switched” to the billing information of 13 individuals. At least three of those victims are local residents. According to the case’s charging information, cards were “prepaid” in the amount of $750.

At his initial hearing in court on Tuesday, March 21, Rodriguez identified himself as a Cuban national. Judge Jason Mount told the man that if there is a criminal conviction in his case, he could be deported.

A jury trial was scheduled for June 6. Rodriguez said he planned to hire an attorney. Bail is set at $10,000 full cash.

Scottsburg police believe the incident is a part of a larger ring of credit card thefts. The U.S. Secret Service has been contacted regarding the investigation.

Anyone with recent fraudulent charges on their credit or debit cards that appear to be for gas or diesel purchases is urged to contact a local law enforcement agency. Multiple charges against Rodriguez in connection with credit card fraud are now pending.

Scottsburg residents may call the police department at 812-752-4462 or remain anonymous by calling 812-752-2333. The Sheriff’s Department can be reached by calling 812-752-8400 or its Tip Line at 812-752-7898. The Austin Police Department’s line is 812-794-4623. All tip lines are in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


State police, Crothersville officer locate, stop suspect car on I-65; three arrested PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 23 March 2017 15:00



An Indiana State trooper and a Crothersville police officer combined efforts Thursday, March 16, to stop a car reported to have been driving erratically on Interstate 65.

The ultimate result of their efforts was the arrest of three people, all from Kentucky.

Taken into custody were Lige Baker, 42, Hazard, Ky.; Brandy M. Carroll, 48, Viper, Ky.; and Sherry Gayle Fields, no age available, Combs, Ky.

According to the probable cause affidavit prepared by Indiana State Police (ISP) Trooper Tia Deaton, The trio was in a small white car being driven south on the interstate. A 9-1-1 call from a motorist near the 49 mile marker in Jackson County related that the car had nearly hit a guardrail twice and “…was all over the roadway.”

That information put Crothersville police on alert as well as Trp. Deaton, who was in her patrol car near the 36 mile marker. The officer works out of the Versailles ISP post. Crothersville Officer J.L. McElfresh advised he was near the on-ramp, waiting for the car to pass. When it did, he pulled in back of it. Trp. Deaton followed to observe the car, reporting that it made unsafe lane movements at the 33 and 32.5 mile markers, once nearly striking a semi-tractor-trailer.

She stopped the car near the 31.5 mile marker, with Officer McElfresh assisting.

None of the three were wearing seatbelts. Fields was behind the wheel. She failed field sobriety testing and fell asleep in the trooper’s patrol car.

Before she did, however, Fields allegedly offered information about both Baker and Carroll dealing drugs and that she and Baker had been involved in a case investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

By this time, K-9 Deputy James R. Ward had arrived to assist. After reading Baker his rights, Trp. Deaton said the man readily admitted to having Xanax pills stuffed in a sock. He also had $1,331 in cash, the officer noted. More information allegedly obtained from Carroll related that the trio had been to Illinois, where they had obtained the Xanax pills as well as Methadone. Fields had apparently taken Xanax. Officers eventually discovered she had $480 in cash.

Fields was transported to Scott Memorial Hospital for evaluation. The two men were taken to the Scott County Security Center in Scottsburg. Around 80 Methadone pills and a like number of Xanax were seized as were the money and the car.

All of the suspects were placed on a 72-hour hold. They each appeared before Scott Circuit Court Judge Jason Mount on Tuesday morning, March 21, for initial hearings.

Charges against Baker include Level 6 possession of a narcotic drug and misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and visiting a common nuisance. Fields was charged with Level 6 felony maintaining a common nuisance, and misdemeanor counts of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle with a controlled substance in the body. She was also charged with unsafe lane movement and not wearing a seatbelt, both infractions.

Carroll was charged with misdemeanor visiting a common nuisance.

Preliminary not guilty pleas were entered for all three, and Carroll has a bench trial set June 6. His bail was reduced from its original $5,000 by corporate surety bond or $500 cash to $3,000/$300.

Baker and Fields were each assigned an initial trial date of June 6 as well. Bail in both cases is $15,000 by surety bond or $1,500 cash. Both cases were assigned to public defenders. Fields’ driver license was automatically suspended.

Officers dispatched to investigate 9-1-1 ‘hang-up’ break up apparent drug house PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 23 March 2017 14:59


When two Scottsburg officers were sent to a home near Scottsburg Elementary School on Thursday night, March 16, their mission was to investigate a 9-1-1 “hang-up.”

County dispatchers had earlier reported receiving a call through the 9-1-1 system where the caller apparently hung up. Patrolmen Troy Ford and Shawn Hurt were sent to the residence of Ronald L. Broadus, 44, at 86 North Hyland Street at 11:49 p.m.

When they pulled in the driveway of the small one-story home, they were met by a man getting out of a pickup truck parked in the drive. He was identified as Michael Lee Weston.

Weston offered to go get Broadus. Accompanied by Weston, the officers walked around the north side of the house to approach the front door. The door opened, Ptl. Ford stated in his probable cause affidavit, and a man walked out with “…a large butcher knife in his hand.”

The man, later identified as Brent J. Baker, dropped the knife when he saw Ptl. Ford and attempted to shut the door but was stopped by the officers.

Ptl. Ford said that, while he was retrieving the dropped knife just inside the door, he saw a syringe laying on a nearby table. He said he saw more syringes, a spoon covered in residue and several plastic baggies laying on a kitchen table ten feet away from the door. Broadus was in the kitchen along with two younger men, identified as Alfred Alex Riley and Joshua Riley.

Those three were taken outside, and Ptl. Ford told Broadus their purpose for being at his home, the 9-1-1 call. He said Broadus explained that the call must have been a “pocket dial.”

Broadus offered to take Ford through the house. The officer said he saw a used Narcan nasal spray container on a living room table. Asked who had overdosed, Broadus told him no one had.

Once Deputies James Shelton, Jac Sanders and James Ward arrived on the scene to assist, the five men were asked for cards proving they participated in the county’s needle exchange program and so could legally have syringes in their possession. None were produced.

Alex Riley allegedly told the officers that he would “…take the hit…” if illegal substances were found in the home. He further identified the coating on the spoon as heroin.

After Broadus signed a consent to search form, Ptl. Ford reported that two baggies with white residue and a digital scales were found in Broadus’ bedroom. Residue on another spoon in the kitchen also proved to be heroin.

Broadus was charged with three Level 6 felonies – unlawful possession of a syringe, possession of a narcotic drug and maintaining a common nuisance. He is being held in lieu of a higher-than-standard bond of $30,000 by corporate surety bond or $3,000 cash.

His friends are also in trouble. Baker, 28, Austin; Alex Riley, 23, Scottsburg; and Joshua Riley, 22, Seymour, are all charged with Level 6 felony unlawful possession of a syringe and possession of a narcotic drug and a misdemeanor charge of visiting a common nuisance.

In addition, petitions for detainer were filed against Baker and Alex Riley. Both are being held for 15 days without bond. Bail for each was set at $20,000 by surety bond or $2,000 cash. The initial jury trial date for Broadus, Joshua Riley and Baker is June 6. Because Alex Riley requested a speedy trial, his initial trial date is May 16. Joshua Riley’s bail is set at $15,000 by surety bond or $1,500 cash.

All three and Broadus were scheduled to revisit Circuit Court on Friday, March 24, to determine if they needed the services of public defenders.

Michael Weston, Scottsburg, is being held on a probation violation, according to the probable cause affidavit.




Memorial service conducted for longtime editor of Scott County Journal/Chronicle PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Thursday, 23 March 2017 14:56



Somewhere in the universe, there is a very large space where John Allen Potts used to dwell.

Potts, 78, died on Thursday, March 16, in Indianapolis, where he and his wife of 48 years, the former Joyce E. Gater, lived close to one of his other loves, the Indianapolis ‘500 Motor Speedway.

To those who knew him well, he will be missed. He was talkative, bull-headed, opinionated and one of the best home-spun journalists around.

Potts was a familiar figure around Scott County for 15 years as the editor of the county newpapers, The Scott County Journal and The Chronicle. During those years in the 1970s and 1980s, Potts could be counted on to attend a multitude of high school sporting events, particularly basketball. To say he loved sports is an understatement. To say he was a dyed-in-the-wool fan of racing is also an understatement. His favorite perfume was, undoubtedly, Eau de Fuel Fume.

The local newspapers profited from his understanding of sports and events of county importance. His articles sparked with life. His only worry on press day was if he had the room in the newspaper to get all of the news – plus the latest high school games – squeezed in there. One of his favorite stories highlighted that concern. “An unidentified man’s body was found. The original headline read along those lines, but by the time we got through shoe-horning in what we could, we were down to ‘Man Dead.’ ” he’d recall.

John had an imposing personality, mixing like oil and water with some in town but finding his own camaraderie among police officers. He was also a big man, a really big man, quite heavy, a seemingly prime candidate for a heart attack, especially since he enjoyed smoking the worst-smelling cigars. Or chewing them in frustration when confronted by a younger reporter over an issue.

He was also a good teacher, always taking time to point out to a novice reporter how something could be expressed more succinctly. His advice included, “Don’t write down to people. Pull them up, whether they want to be pulled or not.”

John moved on from the county newspapers in 1985 after they were purchased by Green Banner Publications a year earlier. He went back to his first love, racing, at the old Indianapolis Raceway Park, now Lucas Oil Raceway. He served there as news director for 15 years, and then he and Joyce moved to London, Ky., where he was public relations director for the London Speedway and for the Corbin Speedway in Corbin, Ky. The old Fairgrounds Motor Speedway in Louisville was one of his offspring, and he remained a track official there until it closed in 1980. He flagged thousands of races and demolition derbies for not only the Scott County Fairgrounds but also the American Speed Association, the Sports Car Club of America, the Auto Racing Club of America, the American Motorcycle Association, United Midget Racing Association and, yes, NASCAR.

In 2000, John wrote “Driven to the Past,” a recounting of those racing days and the colorful figures that populated the sport. Others recognized his writing talent and devotion to racing in 2012 when John was inducted into the Kentucky Motorsports Hall of Fame.

A memorial service for John was conducted on Wednesday, March 22, at Conkle Funeral Home in Speedway. That’s the funeral home located nearest to the ‘500 track.

In lieu of flowers, his friends can remember him by making contributions to the Victory Junction Gang Camp, 4500 Adam’s Way, Randleman, N.C. 27317 through the mail or by visiting


Serving of search warrant reveals over $4,000 cash in couple’s Scottsburg home PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marty Randall   
Wednesday, 22 March 2017 05:14

A couple was arrested at their North Gardner Street home on Friday, March 3, on drug-related charges.

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