Two with ties to Seymour arrested after drug investigation


For The Tribune

Police have arrested two men with ties to Seymour including the varsity golf coach at Greenwood High School after a multi-agency drug investigation in Columbus.

Arrested were Benjamin L. Beatty, 37, of 2559 Lafayette Ave., Columbus, who coaches varsity and junior high golf in the Greenwood schools, and Jared Elsner, 33, Seymour, in two separate traffic stops on Tuesday, said Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, public information officer for the state police at Versailles.

The investigation began when state troopers stopped a vehicle on State Road 46 at Johnson Boulevard in Columbus on Tuesday, Wheeles said. An K-9 unit alerted police to the odor of illegal drugs coming from the vehicle, police said.

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During a search of the vehicle, troopers reported finding suspected heroin, a syringe and drug paraphernalia.

Elsner, the driver of the vehicle, was arrested and transported to the Bartholomew County Jail on preliminary charges of felony possession of heroin, felony possession of a syringe and misdemeanor possession of paraphernalia, Wheeles said.

He was later released from the

Bartholomew County Jail after a 48-hour hold, jail officials said.

After Elsner’s arrest, state police then conducted a traffic stop on a second vehicle on State Road 46 at Carr Hill Road in Columbus.

Beatty, who was driving the vehicle, resisted the trooper and was detained at the scene, Wheeles said.

During a search of Beatty’s vehicle, troopers found about an ounce of suspected methamphetamine, heroin and drug paraphernalia.

Beatty, who grew up in Seymour and graduated from Seymour High School in 1999, was arrested and transported to the Bartholomew County Jail, Wheeles said.

Troopers then sought and received search warrants for Beatty’s Lafayette Avenue residence, and also for a room at the Motel 6 in Columbus that had been rented by Beatty, Wheeles said.

The search warrants that were served by state police, Columbus police officers and Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department deputies resulted in the discovery of additional methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, syringes, drug paraphernalia and packaging material, Wheeles said.

Officers also located counterfeit $20 bills currency and other evidence of counterfeiting when serving the search warrants, Wheeles said.

Beatty was arrested on felony charges of dealing methamphetamine, dealing heroin, possession of methamphetamine, possession of heroin, possession of a syringe, counterfeiting, and misdemeanor charges of resisting law enforcement and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was being held in lieu of $630,000 bond in the Bartholomew County Jail, jail officials said.

Beatty has been the varsity golf coach at Greenwood High School, but the school district has started the process to fire him, the school district said in a written statement on Thursday.

Beatty is a middle school and high school boys golf coach only and has no other jobs at the school district. He has had no contact with students since superintendent Kent DeKoninck learned of the arrest, the school said.

“Based upon information received to this point, all conduct by Mr. Beatty leading to the charges are not connected with any Greenwood Community Schools students,” the statement said.

Parents of students in the Greenwood school district were notified about the situation via email on Thursday morning. High school athletic director Rob Irwin said that current girls golf coach Brittany Runge will finish coaching the boys through the spring season.

The Indiana State Police Versailles All Crimes Policing Team worked with the Bartholomew County Joint Narcotics Enforcement team on the investigation. The local narcotics enforcement team is made up of the Columbus Police Department, the sheriff’s department and the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s office.

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The following statement was released by Greenwood Community School Corp. Thursday morning:

On May 2, 2018, Greenwood Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Kent DeKoninck was notified by both the Greenwood Police Department and the Indiana State Police of pending criminal charges being filed against an employee.

Benjamin Beatty, high school and middle school boys’ golf coach, was arrested in Columbus, Indiana and has been charged with multiple drug-related offenses. Mr. Beatty does not serve in any other capacity int he school district. Procedures have started to terminate his employment. He has had no contact with students since Dr. DeKoninck received notification of the charges being filed.

Based upon information received to this point, all conduct by Mr. Beatty leading to the charges are not connected with any Greenwood Community Schools students. Since this is a police matter, the school district will have no further comment at this time.


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