Three people were arrested Thursday on drug-related and corrupt business influence charges.
Michelle A. Stimmel, 35, of 6351 Jackson St., Kimmel, was charged with dealing in a narcotic drug more than 5 grams, a level 3 felony; corrupt business influence, level 5 felony; and conspiracy to commit dealing in a synthetic drug, level 6 felony, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Kosciusko Circuit/Superior Court Friday.
Kyle David DeHart, 22, of 11136 N. CR 450E, Syracuse, was charged with corrupt business influence, level 5 felony; and conspiracy to commit dealing in a synthetic drug, level 6 felony.
Jason Richard Bontrager, 36, of 72833 CR 29, Lot 11, Syracuse, was charged with corrupt business influence, level 5 felony; and conspiracy to commit dealing in a synthetic drug, level 6 felony.
According to the probable cause affidavit, on Aug. 14 a Warsaw police officer spoke with a confidential informant who advised he/she had arranged to purchase 30 methadone pills in exchange for $200 from Michelle. The officer attached a recorder to the person and provided the informant with $200 to purchase the methadone.
Officers followed the informant to Stimmelators Gentleman’s Club and observed the informant enter the club. Officers could hear the informant speak with a male subject – identified as Samuel Stimmel, Michelle’s father – who told the informant the prices of synthetic drugs in Elkhart. Officers then observed a female arrive in a red PT cruiser and an officer recognized the female as Michelle. Officers heard the informant speak with Michelle and then leave the club.
The officer met with the informant who  provided a heat-sealed cellophane containing 30 white oblong pills. The informant advised Samuel met with him/her about synthetic drugs, and that Michelle provided 30 methadone pills in exchange for $200. The officer identified the pills as methadone, a schedule II controlled substance, weighing 8 grams.
The informant later advised that on Aug. 21, Samuel contacted him/her and requested payment for $200 for a debt owed to Michelle. The informant stated Samuel provides the funding to Michelle to finance the manufacturing of synthetic drugs, according to the affidavit, and that Samuel was attempting to collect money that was never provided to the informant by Michelle.
The informant further advised that Samuel, Michelle and the informant were involved in manufacturing synthetic drugs for the past year. According to the affidavit, Samuel provides the money for the ingredients, the informant orders the controlled substances that are used to add to the plant material and Michelle provides the plant material. The synthetic drug was prepared at Michelle’s Kimmel address.
The informant advised the synthetic drug was then distributed to Kyle Dehart, Jason Bontrager and other individuals who then distributed the synthetic drugs to their buyers for profit. The informant advised Bontrager got approximately 100 packages of synthetic drug every time synthetic drugs are manufactured and Dehart will order varying amounts of synthetic drug.
The informant provided FedEx receipts, FedEx tracking numbers, Sensible Seeds receipts for synthetic drug ingredients for multiple dates and times that substantiated the information the informant provided for approximately one year.
A shipment of synthetic drugs was ordered and delivered to Bontrager’s residence, the informant advised.
The drug is delivered to Michelle, manufactured and then disbursed to dealers Dehart, Bontrager and others, according to the affidavit.
On Thursday, officers attached a recorder to the informant and followed him/her to Bontrager’s residence. FedEx then arrived at the residence, delvering a package, signed by Bontrager. The informant told Bontrager that he would return with the synthetic drug. The informant then left the residence with the package contents, and gave the officer an envelope containing a T-shirt and a clear package containing other packages of chemicals.
Officers obtained a search warrant and searched Bontrager’s residence. Inside the residence, officers found the packaging material from Sensible Seeds, delivered by FedEx and addressed to Bontrager. Also found were empty packages of synthetic drug, a revolver and small amounts of the drug.
While conducting surveillance at Michelle’s residence, officers observed Samuel at the residence and he then left shortly before the informant arrived. The informant delivered the synthetic drug to Michelle.
Officers heard Michelle advise the informant that she did not get the plant material and needed to go to Fort Wayne to pick it up. Michelle advised Samuel had provided her money as she did not have any because the police took her money when she was arrested.
Officers were aware that Michelle was arrested in Whitley County in July for manufacturing synthetic drugs and was charged in Whitley County Circuit Court.
The informant advised that when the synthetic drug is ready to be disbursed, he/she and Michelle contact the distributors to determine the number of bags of the drug they wanted. Officers had the informant contact his dealer, Dehart, by text message and by cell phone and record the conversation. Dehart advised he needed 10 bags of the drug because his purchaser needed eight bags and he would need additional synthetic drug Saturday.
The informant and Dehart arranged to meet in Syracuse. Officers followed the informant to the location and observed Dehart. While officers were approaching Dehart, he started disassembling his cell phone to keep officers from obtaining information from it, according to the affidavit.
Michelle’s bond was set at $10,000, and Bontrager’s bond was set at $4,000.
Samuel Stimmel was arrested, along with four other employees, on Oct. 30, 2013, following a three-month investigation into alleged corrupt practices at the business. He was preliminarily charged with corrupt business influence and promoting prostitution.