Police accuse man of dealing marijuana near their patrol cars

Phone orders for pot came as police searched van

INDIANAPOLIS - A northeast Indianapolis man was arrested after police say they found him dealing marijuana a few feet away from their patrol cars as they were handling a nearby disturbance call.

Indianapolis Metro Police officers said they arrived in the 3100 block of North Gale Street to answer a disturbance call after 8:00 Wednesday night, and they noticed a suspicious van was idling nearby the entire time they were handling the other nearby call.

As officers wrapped up their work on that disturbance call, in the neighborhood near East 30th Street and Sherman Avenue, they approached the van since they said it seemed suspicious. As they got close to the van, a door flung open and the driver approached the officers.

In their arrest report, officers said they immediately noticed a strong odor of marijuana, which had not yet been burned or smoked.

That prompted them to quickly place 20-year-old Tyriq S. Butler in handcuffs.

Officers write in their report that they had encountered Butler in previous cases of drug dealing, so they started to search his van.

With their police cars still parked in the spot where officers had been investigating the nearby disturbance, officers report that they found a large plastic bag filled with marijuana. They also confiscated a scale, which officers say can be used to divide up individual orders of marijuana for sale.

As they were searching the van, one officer said Butler’s phone made noises that incoming messages were being received. Officers say those messages requested to buy a “Fifty sack,” which is street slang for a certain amount of pre-packaged marijuana.

Butler was booked into the Marion County Jail on three charges, including marijuana dealing, possession of marijuana and possession of drug-related equipment.

Court records show he is scheduled to face the judge in Court 14 on Friday morning.

It was the second time officers had been to that section of North Gale Street Wednesday night. First, they answered a burglar alarm before 7 p.m. and then they returned for the disturbance call just over an hour later, when they encountered Butler in his idling van.

Officers confiscated the cell phone that was being messaged and called by would-be buyers, as well as two other cell phones. They are all being used as evidence in the case, in addition to the bag of suspected marijuana and the scale.

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