5 arrested after drug bust at Fort Wayne hotel

Five people were arrested during a drug bust a motel in Fort Wayne on May 30, 2017. Pictured on the top row from left to right: Stephen Thomas, Rhonda Hull, and Joseph Elser. Bottom row Errick Benson (left) and Aaron Balliet. (Mugshots courtesy Allen County Sheriff's Department)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The Fort Wayne Police Department arrested five people after a drug bust at a hotel Tuesday night.

According to FWPD Sgt. Mark Brooks, officers were called to the Country Hearth Inns and Suites, 2908 Goshen Road, at 9:44 p.m.

Brooks said police were told about a person dealing drugs who had an active warrant. Police arrived and found several people inside of a hotel room.

Brooks said police discovered and recovered 3.1 grams of heroin, 1.5 grams of crack cocaine, more than 200 grams of synthetic marijuana, and 18 methadone pills.

Investigators believe Errick Benson, 49, was manufacturing and distributing crack cocaine in the hotel room.

Police arrested Benson on charges of dealing in cocaine, possession of cocaine, dealing of synthetic lookalike, and visiting a common nuisance.

Four other people were arrested:

  • Aaron Balliet, 36, on an outstanding warrant for violation of probation stemming from two counts of welfare fraud. He was also charged with visiting a common nuisance.
  • Joseph Elser, 29, was charged with possession of cocaine, possession of a syringe, possession of paraphernalia, and visiting a common nuisance.
  • Stepheno Thomas, 34, was charged with visiting a common nuisance and held on a warrant for three counts of failure to pay.
  • Rhonda Hull, 40, was charged with visiting a common nuisance.

The case is under investigation.