WARSAW — A Warsaw couple was arrested after a male subject allegedly dropped a gun, causing it to go off and shoot into a neighboring apartment.
Joseph Michael Miller, 26, 221 N. Columbia St., Apartment F., Warsaw, is being charged with dealing in methamphetamine, a level 3 felony; possession of methamphetamine, a level 5 felony; criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, a level 6 felony; neglect of a dependent, a level 6 felony; possession of marijuana, a class B misdemeanor; and possession of paraphernalia, a class C misdemeanor.
Rachel Nicole Banaszek, 31, 221 N. Columbia St., Apartment F., Warsaw, is being charged with possession of methamphetamine, a level 5 felony; neglect of a dependent, a level 6 felony; possession of marijuana, a class B misdemeanor; and possession of paraphernalia, a class C misdemeanor.
On Jan. 25, officers with the Warsaw Police Department were called to an apartment in reference to shots fired through the ceiling into the bedroom of a female subject. The shot was reported to come from a second-floor apartment directly above the female’s apartment. An officer heard the call and had prior knowledge of drug dealing and alleged gun possession by Miller, who resides in the apartment where the shots came from.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, upon arrival, officers spoke with the female subject. The female said that she heard a gunshot from her living room and walked into her bedroom. She observed dust in the air and a hole in the ceiling. Three other individuals were present in the female’s apartment at the time of the gunshot. No one was in the bedroom when the incident occurred.
Officers went to the suspect apartment to investigate. They made contact with Banaszek, who was in the apartment with her son. Banaszek told officers that her boyfriend, Miller, left the apartment and was unaware of where he went. She said she knew nothing about a gunshot in her apartment and that she was taking a shower when she heard Miller leave.
Banaszek gave officers permission to check the bedroom of the apartment. While investigating, officers observed drug paraphernalia in plain view and two boxes of handgun ammunition on a table.
While officers were present at the scene, Banaszek called Miller on the phone. Miller could be heard crying and yelling during the phone call. Banaszek told Miller he needed to return to the apartment to give permission to search the residence. Miller hung up on Banaszek several times. During one of those calls, the phone was placed on speaker and an officer explained consent to search. Miller was concerned about going to jail but gave officers permission to search the apartment. The officer then explained that Miller needed to come back to the apartment to sign the consent form. Miller hung up again.
An officer standing in the hallway observed a male subject, later identified as Miller, looking out from an apartment across the hallway from the location where the incident occurred. When questioned as to what he was doing, Miller said, “I’m the guy you’re looking for.”
Miller told the officer he reached for a gun under a couch in his bedroom when he dropped it, causing the gun to go off. Miller freaked out and decided to run. Miller called out to Banaszek but then chose to leave without telling her what happened. He said he put the gun in his waistband when he fled and that it fell somewhere.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Miller then described the weapon and added that he did not know anything about guns or how to handle them. Miller said a friend asked him to hold onto the firearm.
While waiting for a search warrant, Miller was questioned again about the location of the gun. A patrol officer allowed Banaszek to go into the kitchen to get paper towels to clean up her son. Banaszek then returned to the living room with a firearm and gave it to an officer.
Upon searching the apartment, officers found a pewter tray on the floor. The tray had loose crystal shards, identified as methamphetamine, and loose green plant material, identified as marijuana, on it. Officers also discovered a methamphetamine pipe and a glass smoking pipe in the apartment.
An excessive amount of smoking pipes and bongs were also located in a dresser drawer, along with loose marijuana in a container. Located on the floor next to the couch were glass smoking pipes and a ledger book with information consistent with dealing drugs. Officers also discovered several glass smoking pipes inside of a footstool.
In the corner of the bedroom, officers located a large number of small empty bags with residue, along with smoking pipes, a ledger with specific names and drug information and a locked safe with more empty bags and smoking pipes.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, a brown safe was located in the bedroom closet. The safe contained a black zipper pouch, which contained women’s jewelry and a small crystal shard that tested positive for methamphetamine. Officers also found controlled substance IV pills in Banaszek’s purse. Additional ledger books were also located.
Miller and Banaszek were both booked in the Kosciusko County Jail on Jan. 25. Miller is being held on $20,250 surety and cash bond, while Banaszek is being held on $10,250 surety and cash bond.