By Matt Getts
ALBION — In a drug trade that normally buys and sells in grams, Noble County law enforcement hit the jackpot Thursday.
Police seized 22 pounds of crystal methamphetamine following the execution of a search warrant at a residence north of Ligonier Thursday, Noble County Sheriff Doug Harp announced at a news conference Friday morning at the Noble County Jail.
Police put a street value of $1 million on the recovered narcotics, which included more than 100 pounds of marijuana.
“This will make a serious impact on the drug flow in Noble County,” Harp said.
It is the largest ever seizure of crystal meth in northeast Indiana, police said.
Police arrested four individuals at the two-story farmhouse located at 11405 N. S.R. 5, Ligonier: Mark Morr, 47; Sherry Morr, 47; Justin Morr, 19; and Vanessa Salas, 21.
Mark and Sherry Morr are husband and wife, Harp said. Justin Morr is the couple’s son, and Salas is in a relationship with Justin Morr, he said.
Following a probable cause hearing held Friday morning in Noble Superior Court 1, all four individuals are being held without bond at the Noble County Jail, according to Noble County Prosecutor Eric Blackman. Blackman was given 72 hours to file formal charges.
Police found approximately 50-60 guns — most of them loaded — at the home.
“These were located throughout the house in every nook and cranny,” Harp said.
The mixture of guns and drugs raises the danger level for law enforcement.
“Drug trafficking and guns, they go hand-in-hand,” said Mike Landry, group supervisor with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. “You have to be aware of the possibility” of violence.
“This is scary,” Blackman said. “(Police) were very concerned about safety.”
At least some of the people arrested could face Level 2 felony charges of dealing in methamphetamine. The sentencing range for a Level 2 felony is 10-30 years, Blackman said.
Because some of the shotguns had been altered, those involved could face sentencing enhancements of up to 10 additional years in prison.
The investigation was a joint effort between the Noble County Sheriff’s Department, Ligonier Police Department, Indiana State Police and the DEA.
Mark Morr has an extensive criminal history, police said. “He has been on the radar in Noble County for years and years,” Harp said.
A traffic stop Thursday led to Noble County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Chris Moriarity obtaining a search warrant for the residence.
Police executed the search warrant at 8 a.m. Thursday and took all four suspects into custody without incident.
The amount of drugs reportedly found at the home came as a surprise to law enforcement.
“I’ve never been involved in a case that has this quantity,” Moriarity said. “It’s exciting when you see that.”
“I would have guessed a few pounds, not this much,” Landry said.
Police also located a significant amount of stolen property at the home, Harp said. Authorities still were at the scene Friday morning, collecting and logging evidence.
Police recovered $80,000 in cash at the residence, as well.
Two juveniles, ages 16 and 17, were placed into the care of the Department of Child Services.