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Seven total arrested in MINE drug busts

Published: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 11:26 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:00 p.m. CDT

The Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement (MINE) — Task Force arrested six suspects after executing three search warrants in Newton Thursday night during simultaneous raids.

Task force officials arrested Dustin Pherigo, 26, and Brandon Cornelison, 29, both of Newton, at 700 E. 13th St. N.; Michael Chapman, 38, and Danielle Rigby, 37, both of Newton, at 902 E. 12th St. N.; William Cupples, 43, and Timothy Ballard, 25, both of Newton at 1306 S. Sixth Ave. E.

All suspects involved had been under observation and investigation for “a couple of months,” said Lt. Eric Nation, MINE — Task Force commander and Jasper County Sheriff’s department.

About $2,000 in cash was found during the Cupples and Ballard arrest. Task Force officials believe it may be related to the sale of drugs but cannot confirm if it was payment or cash intended to purchase illegal substance.

Each individual was issued multiple charges in the case. Pherigo was charged with possession of a prescription medication, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia; Corneliston with possession of Schedule IV controlled substance, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia; Cupples with a class D felony- possession of methamphetamine - third offense and possession of drug paraphernalia; Ballard with possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Both Chapman and Rigby were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana, four counts of possession of prescription pills without a prescription, possession of prescription pills with intent to deliver and failure to have an Iowa drug stamp for a controlled substance.

Several law enforcement agencies were involved in the April 7 incident, including the Jasper County Sheriff’s SERT Team, Newton Police Department’s Tactical Team and the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Department and Knoxville Police Department provided K9 Units.

Each arrested subject posted bond Friday morning after an initial hearing and pretrial comments are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Jasper County Court House.

In an unrelated case, the MINE-Task Force was at work in Newton Sunday night with a search warrant executed for Jason Osten, 37, of Newton. After searching his residence at 1715 S. Fourth St. E. apt. #10, Osten was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was taken to the Jasper County Jail and posted a $3,000 Monday.