12 arrested, accused of trafficking meth to the Tri-State - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

12 arrested, accused of trafficking meth to the Tri-State

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William Elder. Source: Vanderburgh County Jail William Elder. Source: Vanderburgh County Jail
Brenda Deer. Source: Vanderburgh County Jail Brenda Deer. Source: Vanderburgh County Jail

Federal authorities say more than 26 pounds of crystal meth were seized in two separate investigations. All of the meth was headed for Evansville. 

12 people were arrested and 11 of them are from Evansville or Posey County. They're accused of trafficking meth from states like California and Arizona to the Tri-State.

On Wednesday, Mayor Lloyd Winnecke says while these are big busts, his biggest concern is still catching cooks here at home.

Police say William Elder and Brenda Deer were arrested in February in Posey County with 8 pounds of meth after police say a baggie of the drug was thrown out a car window during a chase. 

Wednesday, US Attorney Joe Hogsett announced two busts turning up 26 pounds of the drug, and Elder, who's 71, is the alleged kingpin of one Tri-State drug trafficking ring.

"With that amount it sounds like a big business, a big operation," a concerned resident said.

"You're glad to see them off the streets but you hate to see it happening to begin with," another resident said. 

Hogsett says it was obvious the amount of meth seized was coming from outside the Tri-State.

"26 pounds can not be produced locally. It has to come from somewhere else," Hogsett said.

Hogsett says the most common one-pot meth labs create a need that can't be met.

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke says meth made here at home with Sudafed and soda bottles is still his biggest concern.

"While the meth that is imported is certainly dangerous and a menace to our society, the home-grown stuff, the one-pot stuff certainly poses more danger to our city," Mayor Winnecke said. 

All 12 defendants are in custody and could face 10 years to life in prison if convicted.


  • Andrew Bastain, 27, Evansville
  • August Hirsch, 28, Evansville
  • Adan Vasquez, 35, Evansville
  • David Haas, 43, Evansville
  • Bobby Bass, 40, Evansville
  • Jesus Torres-Flores, 41, East Palo Alto, CA
  • William H. Elder, 71, Posey County
  • Everett C. Tarr, 56, Evansville
  • Terry L. Ward, 61, Posey County
  • Michael L. Clark, 54, Evansville
  • Brenda G. Deer, 47, Evansville
  • Lauri A. Cupp, 45, Posey County
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