Charges filed in Merrillville drug case

2014-02-07T19:58:00Z 2014-02-07T22:20:45Z Charges filed in Merrillville drug caseChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
February 07, 2014 7:58 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | Charges were filed Friday in connection with an alleged drug deal involving about 25 pounds of marijuana.

Lee Talley III, 24, of Merrillville, and Steven Vasquez, 25, of Gary, each face a felony count of conspiracy to commit dealing in marijuana.

Charles Crothers, 27, of Palos Heights, Ill., was charged with felony residential entry and a misdemeanor count of resisting law enforcement.

Talley told police Vasquez contacted Crothers to buy marijuana, and Vasquez planned to rob Crothers of the drugs.

Vasquez allegedly attempted to arrange a meeting on Jan. 27 with Crothers at a gas station. Court documents state Vasquez agreed to give Talley $2,000 to pick up Vasquez after the robbery.

Crothers declined to meet in a public place, according to the documents.

Talley and Vasquez were at Talley's home in the 600 block of West 56th Place when a vehicle arrived at the residence.

Talley fled to a neighbor's house and reported the incident to police when he realized the robbery was about to take place at his home, court documents state.

After arriving to the scene, police found Vasquez in the home. Crothers was hiding the basement, according to court documents.

Crothers allegedly refused to leave the basement and fought with officers when they attempted to take him into custody.

Police also found about 25 pounds of marijuana in the home. It has a street value around $30,000, police said.

Vasquez admitted to police he arranged the meeting with Crothers. He also indicated it involved purchasing drugs. Police reported the back door of the residence had visible signs of forced entry.

When police interviewed Crothers, he indicated he ran to the doorway, and the doorknob was locked.

He told police the door wasn't secure, so he pushed it open and hid in the basement of the residence until officers found him.

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