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IMPD, DEA fight to prosecute more drug dealers for fatal overdoses; new case unsealed this week
By Jesse Wells,
INDIANAPOLIS – This week felony charges were unsealed against a man accused of dealing drugs resulting in death, following a fatal overdose on Indy’s west side.
Although it took more than a year for charges to be filed in this case, police and the DEA hope the charges serve as a warning to drug dealers across central Indiana that law enforcement is fighting to file those charges more often.
This investigation began when a man was found dead inside his apartment back in January 2022.
Unable to wake up her father last year, Jason Platipodis’s young daughter called 911.
“It was just devastating that a 6-year-old girl had to find her father dead of a drug overdose,” said Mike Gannon, DEA assistant special agent in charge.
According to court records, Jonathan Spurling went to the Chicago area to buy the lethal dose of fentanyl that claimed the victim’s life, then arranged to meet the victim who died from an overdose that same day.
“These people aren’t just saying they want to take a drug to die. They’re being poisoned by lethal doses of fentanyl,” said Gannon.
In this case, prosecutors recovered Facebook messages between the pair. Those messages included one exchange where the victim told Spurling, “Grab me a couple.” Spurling then responded, “K” and later asked the victim, “It did the trick, but wasn’t overwhelming?”
“It’s very scary when we’re talking about fentanyl and what it’s doing to our community. So when you have people dealing fentanyl they have to be held accountable for their actions,” said Gannon.
When asked how many cases of kind of have been prosecuted in Marion County, the prosecutors office sent this reply:
There have been 8 cases filed since the law went into effect (one was dismissed and refiled so technically seven). In 2020, we secured what I believe was the first conviction in Indiana. Dwayne Mahone was sentenced to 35 years with 20 years in prison after pleading guilty. Additionally, we secured another conviction in March 2022 (Eric Himes). All other cases remain pending at this time.
“A couple years ago we didn’t see any. Now you’re seeing those cases brought forward. Not at the pace we would like, but for families that have gotten closure, there’s some solace to that,” said IMPD Deputy Chief Kendale Adams.
Deputy Chief Adams said IMPD has set a drug overdose response team, using narcotics detectives to investigate deaths and hold accused drug dealers accountable.
“I think people that deal these narcotics to people that are sick need to be wary that we are looking at these cases,” said Adams.
Spurling is being held on a $150,000 bond. His initial hearing is set for next week.
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