Portage couple charged in hotel heroin bust

2012-07-07T18:45:00Z Portage couple charged in hotel heroin bustBy Jeff Burton jeff.burton@nwi.com, (219) 548-4354 nwitimes.com

PORTAGE | A Portage couple was allegedly preparing to sell heroin from their U.S. 20 motel room when undercover officers put the kibosh on their venture.

According to documents filed last week in Porter Superior Court, on Dec. 26, officers working with the Porter County Drug Task Force were called to Dollar Inn, 6142 U.S. 20, where an employee said two possible heroin addicts checked in to a second floor room.

The employee told officers the last time the couple was there, housekeeping staff discovered 16 empty bags with drug residue and a number of hypodermic needles in the room.

Officers began surveillance and after Amy Garneski, 29, and Carl Pancer, 30, returned to their room from a nearby gas station, police looked through a window and saw pills in the room.

Police entered the room and discovered the pills were Xanax. When asked if there were any other drugs in the room, police said Garneski pleaded with officers not to arrest her because she had a small child at home.

Officers searched and found heroin in the woman's purse and heroin and needles in the pocket of Pancer's sweatshirt hanging in the room.

Garneski reportedly told officers she earlier smoked crack cocaine and led police to a glass pipe wrapped in toilet paper.

Police said Pancer explained they borrowed a friend's pickup truck earlier that day and drove to Chicago where they purchased 24 bags of heroin. They were planning to sell the bags, police said.

Garneski is charged with felony drug possession, while Pancer is charged with possession with intent to deliver, also a felony.

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