LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Several law enforcement agencies investigating complaints about drug and other criminal activity in Columbus, Indiana, arrested nine people believed to be members or known associates of the Aryan Brotherhood earlier this week. 

"They either are members of the Aryan Brotherhood or associates of the gang," said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department.

Lt. Harris said, "Getting this many people affiliated with the gang off the street is a -- is a huge win for law enforcement."

The arrests follow a year-long investigation that started with the arrests of two people connected to the gang. Investigators focused on complaints from the community about drug activity, break-ins and thefts in Columbus and Bartholomew County. 

Police say some of the suspects were trying to sneak contraband into the Bartholomew County Jail. 

After the investigation, police rounded up the following suspects:

Chelsie S. Harden, 30, of Columbus, Indiana. Charges: trafficking with an inmate, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance, criminal gang activity, maintaining a common nuisance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Jarred A. Parton, 26, of Franklin, Indiana. Charges: criminal gang activity, battery. 

William Jacob Lustig, 38, of Columbus, Indiana. Charges: criminal gang activity, trafficking with an inmate, dealing in a Schedule III controlled substance, dealing in a Schedule IV controlled substance.

Brandon B. Jacobs, 28, of Nashville, Indiana. Charges: criminal gang activity, auto theft, intimidation, possession of altered handgun, carrying a handgun without a license.

William “Corey” King, 35, of Columbus, Indiana. Charges: criminal gang activity, trafficking with an inmate. 

David “Bub” Hadley, 35, of Columbus, Indiana. Charges: criminal gang activity, trafficking with an inmate.

Mary Jaylin Craig, 22, of Edinburgh, Indiana. Charges: trafficking with an inmate, possession of methamphetamine, possession of a controlled substance.

William J. Stillabower, 33, of Columbus, Indiana. Charges: criminal gang activity, trafficking with an inmate. 

Matthew S. Mowery, 22, of Austin, Indiana. Charges: possession of methamphetamine, unlawful possession of a syringe.

Officers from the Columbus Police Department worked with the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department during the investigation.

The following agencies also assisted: the CPD Intelligence Led Policing Unit, CPD SWAT, Columbus/Bartholomew County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team, CPD Detective’s Division as well as the Indiana State Police, Indiana Department of Natural Resources and the Edinburgh Police Department.

The arrests and learning that a notorious hate group has been lurking and wrecking havoc on the small, diverse town, came as a big surprise to the people who live and work in Columbus.

"I actually had no idea that was going on," said Kayla Turner, who lives in Bartholomew County. "You don't really think about that around here."

Jim Katzenmeyer lives in Columbus and was equally as surprised. He said, "It is certainly not something that we want the area to be known for. I'm glad to hear they've arrested them and I hope it stops it."

Police say, so far, they have seen a difference in local crime.

Lt. Harris said, "We saw a huge reduction in the auto thefts."

 

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