Humvee and tear gas used in Argos meth standoff

By: NewsCenter 16 Staff Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Staff Email

Police arrested four people after finding meth during a standoff in Marshall County early Monday afternoon.

Just after 1 p.m., emergency responders from the Indiana state police worked alongside Marshall County Sheriff’s Department and drug task force, as well as the Plymouth Police Department to serve a search warrant in rural Argos. The difficulty of the task escalated from serving a warrant to a full-fledged police standoff.

Police obtained the warrant to search the trailer home during a previous drug investigation which had tipped them off that those inside could potentially be armed.

When they arrived at the trailer in the 5000-block of 18th Rd., authorities set off a flash-bang near the front door and attempted to make contact with those hiding inside over a loud speaker. It took several minutes before two of the four suspects, Mark Howard and Stephanie Johnson, left the trailer at the police’s requests.

A third suspect, Billie Minix, 50, refused to leave. Officers tried to talk Minix out, but Minix proved reluctant to yield.

Officers resorted to extreme measures to force Minix out: they broke two windows and the wall of the trailer with their Humvee, and shot tear gas inside to smoke him out.

Minix finally surrendered to authorities a half hour later and was arrested on a parole violation in Knox County, he may face additional charges in Marshall County.

Police also arrested Mark Howard on a felony charge of dealing meth, and Stephanie Johnson on an outstanding warrant for a probation violation.

The fourth arrestee was not directly involved in the Argos standoff but was an “associate” of those involved. In a traffic stop later on in the day, police arrested Shawn Speirs, 40, for dealing meth.

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