Chesterton Tribune



Local couple pleads to selling crack wife with children accompanying her

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A Chesterton woman who the Porter County Drug Task Force (DTF) said sold crack cocaine to a confidential informant at the local Family Express--while accompanied by children in her care--is facing a maximum term of five years in prison under a plea deal with the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

The woman’s husband, on the other hand, who is also accused of selling crack, is facing a possible maximum sentence of 14 years, under a separate deal.

Andrea Coleman, 33, who at the time of her arrest was residing in the 1900 block of Cory Lane, was originally charged with three counts of dealing cocaine, two of them Class A felonies punishable by a term of 20 to 50 years and one of them a Class B felony punishable by a term of six to 20 years. She was also charged with neglect of a dependent, a Class C felony punishable by a term of two to eight years.

Under the plead-and-argue agreement, Andrea Coleman would be sentenced to no more than five years in the Indiana Department of Correction (DOC) on the Class B count. On the Class C count--neglect of a dependent--any sentence up to the statutory maximum of eight years would be suspended and served on formal probation. The two sentences would run consecutively. The two Class A counts would both be dismissed.

Jerry Coleman, 40, for his part, was charged with two Class B felony counts of dealing in cocaine and one Class C count of neglect of dependent.

Under his plead-and-argue agreement, Jerry Coleman would be sentenced to no more than 14 years in the DOC on the first Class B count. On the Class C count--neglect of a dependent--any sentence up to the statutory maximum would, again, be suspended and served on formal probation. The two sentences, like his wife’s, would run consecutively. The second Class B count would be dismissed.

Those charges were filed against the couple in April 2012, after DTF agents arranged with a confidential informant (CI) to make four separate purchases of crack cocaine from the Colemans, between April 5 and April 24. The total amount of cocaine purchased in those sales, according to the probable cause affidavit filed by DTF Coordinator Bob Taylor: 11 grams, on which the CI spent a total of $1,120. All purchases were made at the Family Express at 1681 Pioneer Trail, across from the then WiseWay Foods, Taylor stated in his affidavit.

Andrea Coleman made two of the sales, Taylor stated, on April 11 and April 24, and on both occasions “she had three children in the car.”

Jerry Coleman made the other two, on April 5 and April 17, Taylor said.

After the sale on April 24, DTF executed a search warrant at their residence, where it is believed Jerry Coleman flushed crack cocaine down the toilet. Agents “tested the toilet water and it tested positive for cocaine,” Taylor stated. Also found at the residence: a pan used to “cook” rock cocaine, “which also tested positive.”

“From documents seized during the search, it is believed that neither Andrea nor Jerry Coleman had any source of income apart from dealing crack cocaine and laundering drug proceeds via debit cards,” Taylor stated. “From additional evidence gained during the investigation, it appeared that the Colemans also traded crack cocaine for items that had been stolen.”

Under a previous plea arrangement, Andrea Coleman would have been eligible for Drug Court. The more recent arrangement--dated Tuesday--supersedes the earlier one.



Posted 7/10/2013







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