County tax records show a prominent local doctor owns a house police raided for heroin. Officers arrested a total of 9 people Thursdayafternoon – 2 were picked up in a car driving away from the scene, 6 more were arrested from inside the house for “visiting a common nuisance” and 24-year-old Quinton Ferguson was arrested misdemeanor “maintaining a common nuisance” and battery as well as felony dealing heroin and cocaine and possession of cocaine.
Others arrested include:
Anthony Malone, 25
Amy Kahlenbeck, 38
George Minarik, 26
Sheaunta Hardmett, 24
Zachary Lederer, 23
Airen Haynes, 20
Police did not release the names of the two people arrested in the car.
It happened at a duplex near the intersection of Main and 6th Streets in Mishawaka.
Police say their investigation into the house started 30 days ago and quickly escalated when SWAT and the Metro Special Operations Section served a search warrant for drugs.
People who live nearby say it’s about time.
“First they yelled, ‘Search Warrant!’” recalled McKenzie Peck, who watched the situation unfold.
Then, neighbors said they watched 10 to 15 heavily armed police officers bust in windows at the house and shoot tear gas inside.
“People just started crawling out, one by one,” Peck said. “They were tackling, guys were falling everywhere. Some of them were like really resistant and fighting but most of them came out and were just like 'we're caught.'”
That commotion was a welcome sight for people who live nearby. Records show police have been there before, including 14 calls for service in the last 2 months.
“It’s terrible, it’s real terrible,” said Richard Martsolf, who lives across the street from the house police raided.
“There’s been a lot of activity all throughout the hours of the night,” he added.
Martsolf and other neighbors are fed up.
Another neighbor told WSBT he watches drug deals and drug use every day, in broad daylight.
When asked whether he allows his children to play outside, Martsolf replied, “Used to.
We used to but with everything that’s been going on we’re afraid for the children’s safety and lives, so no. This past summer they’ve been inside the house.”
If the house doesn’t get clean, Martsolf added he’ll have no other choice but to move his family out.
“You see this stuff in South Bend and Chicago. To see it here In Mishawaka it just breaks our heart,” he said.
It’s not clear who lives inside the duplex, but according to county tax records, Dr. Ajit Pai owns it. He’s a prominent pain physician in St. Joseph and Elkhart Counties. When WSBT stopped by Dr. Pai’s Mishawaka office, a receptionist said he was “busy seeing patients.” Phone calls were also not returned by 5:30 p.m. Friday.
Code Enforcement confirmed Friday that officers have been out to the home a few times lately for things like sidewalk parking and trash complaints. One neighbor said he’s worried the trash outside the house may have contaminated needles in it and he doesn’t want neighborhood kids getting hurt.
The prosecutor’s office said it received police reports from the incident Friday afternoon and would review them over the weekend.