Drugs, nudity bring arrest

A Jackson County man wound up behind bars Wednesday after a conservation officer reported finding him nude with methamphetamine in a car parked in the Austin Bottoms area.

Walter L. Barger Jr., 39, of Crothersville was found with a woman in a vehicle by Conservation Officer Matt Pearcy, who was routinely patrolling the area off State Road 256 in Washington County, according to a news release from the Indiana Conservation Officers.

Pearcy said in his report that he saw Barger swallow something and throw a bag out of the vehicle when he arrived at the scene.

During a further search of Barger, police said they found a glass pipe and more methamphetamine in his shoe.

Barger faces charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia and public nudity after the incident, which began at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

He was booked into the Washington County Jail in Salem.

The woman, who cooperated and did not have drugs on her, was not arrested, police said.

The Austin Bottoms area is part of the Healthy Rivers INitiative launched in 2010 by then-Gov. Mitch Daniels. The goal is to set aside more than 26,000 acres in Jackson, Scott and Washington counties along the Muscatatuck River.

Conservation officers routinely patrol state properties in an effort to ensure the safe use of their facilities and natural resources, according to the news release.

People can report suspicious or criminal activity by calling Indiana Conservation Officers’ Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536.