WARSAW, Ind. (WANE) – An off-duty Warsaw Police Officer busted a meth-making operation when he checked on a car that was stopped at the side of the road on Tuesday.
The officer noticed the SUV at about 1:40 p.m. on Tuesday at County Road 100 East south of County Road 350 North. The two people in the car told him that they had run out of gas and sent a third person to get more. When the officer went to call for assistance from an on-duty unit, the two took off running in different directions. The driver, with a puppy in hand, took off running south and the passenger ran north.
The officer looked into the car and saw several meth-making items.
Several officers soon arrived to help, including a K-9 unit. One of the suspects, 51-year-old Trace L. Skinner, was found a short time later walking along County Road 450 North. Police identified him as the passenger who ran away and took him into custody. After talking with Skinner, police believe the two were on their way to buy more meth-making materials when the car stropped running. Skinner, who was cooperating with police, is facing a felony charge of unlawful possession of precursors in the making of meth. He is being held at the Kosciusko County Jail on a $2,000 bond.
Police didn’t immediately get the driver but were able to identify him as 29-year-old Jerrod W. Turpen. In the initial release on the bust, police asked for help in locating Turpen. Around 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, they found him hiding in a van in a subdivision north of Warsaw.
Clandestine lab teams from Warsaw Police removed HCL generators and meth-making materials from the SUV, which has since been reported stolen.
Warsaw Police were assisted by the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department, Winona Lake Police Department, Indiana State Police, Kosciusko County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, and Plain Township (Leesburg) Fire Department.