Police uncover spice ring in Tippecanoe County

A tip leads police to find 800 pounds of damiana leaves in a Tippecanoe County storage unit. The leaves are used to make the drug called spice. However, that isn't the only drug they discovered.

Posted: May 3, 2018 12:00 AM
Updated: May 3, 2018 12:15 PM

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - A tip leads police to find 800 pounds of damiana leaves in a Tippecanoe County storage unit. The leaves are used to make the drug called spice. However, that isn't the only drug they discovered.

After being tipped off about a large number of damiana leaves, officers started investigating 40-year-old Ronald Kirkham and 38-year-old Trevor Calloway back in February.

They weren't the only ones involved. Police also arrested Taylor Kirkham, Jamie Kiser and Brock Kiser.

The drug task force received a tip that a large amount of the damiana leaf was ordered in Tippecanoe County. The leaf alone isn't illegal. However, when people mix it with a certain chemical it turns into spice.

Tuesday night, officers followed Kirkham and Calloway to a storage unit in northern Tippecanoe County. They watched them unload several pounds of damiana leaves. Police had search warrants for the storage unit where they found spice.

Investigators also searched a second storage unit where they found the chemical used to spray on the leaves to turn it into spice.

Police also had search warrants for Kirkham and Calloway's homes. One in the 3800 block of Chenango Drive and one in the 8700 block of N. 275 East. Between the two homes, police found edible marijuana products, over a pound of meth, Xanax, spice and 13 firearms.

"We were clapping when they took the vehicles last night. We were so, so happy to see him go," said Tammy Ricks.

Ricks lives next door Kirkham. She said she wasn't surprised Kirkham was arrested. She always noticed his weird, unusual behavior.

"He wasn't very personal at all," said Ricks. "You would try to talk to him about certain things or just say hi and he was just kind of like eh."

All five people arrested were taken to the Tippecanoe County Jail. They all have since bonded out.

News 18 will continue to follow this story and provide updates once they're available.

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