Batesville woman accused of five drug felonies

Vanessa Thielking

"On Monday, Feb. 11, I began investigating Vanessa Thielking and a male subject believed to be Gabriel Seitz after receiving information that the two were planning on going to a residence located in Miamitown, Ohio, to pick up a large amount of methamphetamine," Indiana State Police Detective Joseph Uhler wrote in a probable cause affidavit filed May 28 in Ripley Circuit Court.

The next day he learned the 27-year-old had been in contact through Ripley County Jail, Versailles, phone calls with inmate Phillip Mourey. He explained, "Through my training and experience as a police officer, I know that inmates have access to an inmate phone and email system within the cellblocks at the ... jail. I know inmates must pay for these services via commissary. I know the phone calls and emails/text messages placed on these systems are monitored, recorded and stored by the jail via software. l also know before being connected to each call, inmates are notified by a recorded message that calls may be monitored and recorded for observation. I also know that inmates frequently discuss criminal matters on the above mentioned phone system."

The detective reviewed Mourey's call log and learned that dozens of calls were placed to Thielking's cellphone number. On Sept. 8, 2018, a male voice identified himself Greg, which is Mourey's middle name. Uhler noticed Mourey had emailed or text messaged another jail account identified as Vanessa Thielking on numerous occasions.

He listened to a series of recorded jail calls. On Jan. 28, Mourey called Thielking and advised her there were "72 canned foods, tell dude that gives me my tattoos that you'll give him 25 of them for six racks." The detective noted, "criminal conspirators often speak in code and/or slang by referring to controlled substances with benign terms like 'canned foods,' 'things,' 'tennis shoes,' etc."

The woman responded she didn't want to do that because the amount was so great.

During a call later that day, Mourey told Thielking, "It's a pot of gold" and he passed on directions from Caleb Ludwick in the cellblock to a red brick house two houses past the Bier Haus. The inmate gave the woman detailed directions on how to get there.

Uhler wrote, "Through a previous investigation, I know that Ludwick was a major methamphetamine dealer in Hamilton County, Ohio, and southeastern Indiana" and frequented a house located in Miamitown, Ohio, near the Bier Haus on State Route 128 before his incarceration.

The next day Thielking called Mourey to report the tattoo artist, now identified as Seitz, had a meeting with his parole officer.

On Feb. 12 Uhler and fellow officers conducted a surveillance on Thielking's residence at 406 W. Catherine St., Batesville. The woman left the home and drove her 2008 blue Chevrolet Equinox to Versailles, stopping near residences on Washington and High streets. "Seitz is known to reside in Versailles" and the detective saw him sitting in the front passenger seat of Thielking's vehicle on U.S. 50 near State Road 48, according to the probable cause affidavit.

After stopping at the Shell gas station in Greendale, the woman traveled into Ohio and pulled into the driveway of a State Route 128 residence. Indiana State Police Detective Rick Shoemaker observed a male matching Seitz's description exit the vehicle, and Thielking drove away.

For about three hours, her vehicle stayed in the area. Several times it drove past the residence and pulled into neighboring businesses. The Equinox then left the Miamitown, Ohio, area and was stopped for speeding by ISP Trooper Joseph May, who reported Thielking was the vehicle's only occupant.

Shoemaker had been in contact with Hamilton County Drug Abuse Reduction Task Force (DART) Agent Chris MacMurdo, who said other DART officers were going to conduct a safety sweep of the property and make contact with the resident to request consent to search it.

After the sweep, Uhler arrived and spoke to MacMurdo, who reported Seitz was located digging around the foundation of an outbuilding. He possessed numerous controlled substances, including several grams of methamphetamine, a Derringer style handgun, fixed blade knife and three cellphones during the time of his arrest. "He admitted everything he had in his possession came from the property," the court document stated.

Later Uhler reviewed recorded jail calls that were placed when Seitz was at the property. He heard inmates Mourey, Ludwick and Jeremy Eaton giving Seitz directions on where to locate the meth. "I was able to identify these individuals by listening to previous calls made from their accounts registered to them."

Thielking told Mourey during one call that Seitz was waiting on a firearm prior to leaving for Cleves, Ohio.

The next day, two ISP officers questioned her. She admitted travelling with Seitz to locate a large amount of methamphetamine.

On March 7 Uhler and ISP Detective Chip Ayers interviewed Mourey. He said fellow inmate Ludwick had told him a large amount of money was hidden in a shed's foundation on the Miamitown property. When confronted later in the interview, Mourey admitted he was sending the duo to locate not money, but a large amount of meth.

The plan: "Seitz would have found the methamphetamine, sold it and Mourey would have had enough money to get out of jail."

The detective wrote, "Mourey also admitted his nickname is 'Bulldog' and he is a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, which I know to be a white supremacist gang commonly found in Indiana prisons." His gang-related tattoos referenced that membership.

Five charges were filed against Thielking May 28: conspiracy to deal in methamphetamine and attempt to deal in methamphetamine, Level 2 felonies; conspiracy to commit possession of meth and attempt to commit possession of meth, Level 3 felonies; and aiding, inducing or causing dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 4 felony.

Two of the charges reached the seriousness of Level 2 because the drugs weighed at least 10 grams and Seitz possessed a firearm.

In a court document filed June 3, Ripley Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Sharp was appointed special judge for Thielking's case after Ripley Circuit Court Judge Ryan King recused himself May 30.

At her initial hearing June 3, bond was set at $25,000 cash and an earlier case was referenced.

Thielking pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and was sentenced Aug. 23, 2018, to 545 days in the Indiana Department of Correction, with 113 days already served and 319 days suspended. She also was ordered to complete the Ripley County Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program and 60 hours of community service.

In the current case, Thielking has pretrial and final pretrial hearings set for July 9 and Oct. 28, respectively. A jury trial has been scheduled for Nov. 19 at 9 a.m. She was still incarcerated at the Ripley County Jail Sunday afternoon, according to an officer there.

Debbie Blank can be contacted at debbie.blank@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 113.

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