The Franklin County Sheriff's Department's investigation into a heist of several vehicles from a local business has resulted in two arrests for serious felony theft and drug charges, announced Sheriff Pete Cates and Prosecuting Attorney Chris Huerkamp.

Multiple vehicle thefts were first reported on the morning of Monday, March 29. By the end of the next day, two suspects were in the Franklin County Security Center facing preliminary charges related to the investigation.
Prosecuting Attorney Huerkamp has now charged Nathine L. Dyer, 25, of Big Cedar Road, and Brian E. Lemmel, 25, of Hamilton, Ohio, with a number of felonies. Dyer is charged with Dealing in Methamphetamine, a Level 2 Felony, Possession of Methamphetamine, a Level 3 Felony, Possession of Heroin, a Level 6 Felony, Possession of a Syringe, a Level 6 Felony, and Theft as a Level 6 Felony.

Lemmel is facing 4 counts of Auto Theft and 2 counts of Theft, all Level 6 Felonies.

According to the probable cause affidavit filed in Dyer's case, on March 29, Franklin County Deputy Jason Robinson responded to the premises of Brackney, Inc., to investigate the reported theft of four company vehicles and a utility trailer that had apparently been taken over the course of the previous evening. During the course of the next two days, the sheriff's department had found four vehicles, which had been abandoned in various locations throughout the county.

On March 30, a Brackney employee contacted dispatch to report that he had discovered the missing trailer as well, and had observed to unhook it from a vehicle and leave it at a location on Sleepy Hollow Road. Soon after, deputies located those vehicles at Dyer's residence, where he and Lemmel were initially arrested for the stolen trailer.

Following additional investigation, deputies sought and were granted several search warrants. While searching the vehicle believed to be Dyer's, a box containing over 28 grams of methamphetamine and over two grams of heroin was discovered. According to Deputy Robinson's affidavit, the large quantity of meth, along with other factors, was indicative of distribution and not just personal use. Eventually, deputies collected enough evidence to recommend charging Dyer for the drugs and the stolen trailer, and Lemmel for the theft of the vehicles and other items.

Sheriff Cates noted that while his department directed the investigation, he would also like to acknowledge assistance that was provided by the Indiana State Police and Brookville Police Department.

Regarding the efficiency of the investigation, Huerkamp commented: “This was an incredible and focused effort by the Franklin County Sheriff's Department--both in recovering stolen property for a local business and to get a large amount of dangerous drugs off the street—all within a very short time.” Huerkamp further emphasized that the investigation remains ongoing, that additional charges are possible, and that all suspects and/or criminal defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Source: Chris Huerkamp and Pete Cates