WARSAW — A day before the start of a three-day jury trial, Sam Stimmel, 66, 7227 N. Syra-Web Road, North Webster, entered a plea agreement before Kosciusko Superior Court Judge David Cates.
Stimmel pleaded guilty Monday, March 7, to Count II and Count III, both dealing in a synthetic or look-a-like substance, more than two grams. The plea agreement calls for the sentences to run consecutive and served in the home detention program. The term limit is at the discretion of the judge. A class D felony carries a sentence of one-half to 3 years.
Stimmel will appear in court at 2 p.m. April 15, for a plea acceptance/sentencing. Should the plea be accepted the charges of corrupt business influence, promoting prostitution and dealing in a schedule I controlled substance will be dismissed.
Additionally upward of $50,000 in frozen assets will be released. The assets were frozen shortly after Stimmel’s arrest in 2013.
Kosciusko County Prosecutor Dan Hampton stated the frozen assets will be distributed to various entities, with the majority going to law enforcement. He noted $10,000 will go to the Indiana Department of Revenue to satisfy a lien. A platinum bar will be sold with portions of the funds going to satisfy any remaining balance on the Department of Revenue lien with remaining funds being turned over to law enforcement. A jar with approximately $500 in cash, identified as funds for Breast Cancer Foundation, will be given to the foundation.
Stimmel was arrested on Oct. 31, 2013, after officers with the Centralized Drug Enforcement of Kosciusko County concluded an intensive investigation. The investigation began in July 2013. Three additional felony charges were added later in the day.
Initially police said Stimmel was charged with corrupt business influence and promoting prostitution. Two charges of dealing in a synthetic drug/lookalike substance were added.
Information filed in a probable cause affidavit indicates an undercover drug officer, on July 1, purchased “two reds” from Stimmel at California Dreamin’, 108 E. Washington St., next door to Stimmelators. The substances weighed approximately 8 grams total and were identified as synthetic drugs, also known loosely as “spice” and identified as “eggs.”
During the continued investigation, on Oct. 24, two undercover officers entered Stimmelator’s Gentlemen’s Club for a meeting with Stimmel. The meeting was to make a downpayment for exotic dancers who were “hired” to perform at a bachelor party on Oct. 30. The officers also inquired about purchasing two white “eggs” for the party. The officers paid Stimmel $100 toward an agreed price of $60 for three packages of the synthetic drugs.
The officers were approached by Stimmel a short time later and led back to a private room at the club where he gave the undercover officers three packages of “White Rabbit,” each weighing approximately 4 grams. The officers inquired about “yellow pills” and were then handed another package labeled “Yolo.”
Police say California Dreamin averaged 20 to 25 customers per hour from June through October in 2013.