METH CASE: Man pleads guilty
COLUMBIA CITY — Austin L. Waller, 18, pleaded guilty in Whitley County Circuit Court Monday to aiding in dealing in methamphetamine.Due to Waller’s plea agreement, he will be charged with aiding in the dealing of methamphetamine, a Class B felony, with four other counts against him dismissed.A sentencing date is scheduled for Oct. 15 where Waller could face six to 20 years and a fine of up to $10,000. The plea came after Waller was arrested July 1, along with Terrance M. Ward, 30, on reports of a chemical odor coming from Apartment 3, 315 S. Main St., Columbia City.According to the police report, after asking Ward if it was ok to search the apartment, empty packages of synthetic marijuana and ingredients for making meth were found by police in the bathroom of the apartment.Police also reported finding a hypodermic needle containing a clear liquid which tested positive for methamphetamine and a white powder substance, lithium batteries and pills identified as Xanax.According to police, Waller stated he had given Ward a bag for the purpose of cooking meth.At the initial hearing in July, Ward was charged with dealing in methamphetamine, a Class A felony; possession of methamphetamine, a Class B felony; possession of a single precursor, a Class C felony; maintaining a common nuisance, a Class D felony; possession of synthetic marijuana, a class A misdemeanor and possession of paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor. Waller was originally charged with dealing in methamphetamine, a Class A felony; possession of methamphetamine, a Class B felony; possession of a single precursor, a Class C felony; visiting a common nuisance, a Class B misdemeanor and possession of paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor. Ward’s pre-trial conference will be Aug. 13 in circuit court.