WARSAW — Two women were recently arrested after a police patrol resulted in the discovery of drug use and dealing at a Warsaw residence.
Tanya Marie Stephens, 36, 418 S. Union St. C., Warsaw, is charged with dealing in methamphetamine, a level 3 felony; possession of methamphetamine, a level 5 felony; counterfeiting, a level 6 felony; possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor; false informing, a class B misdemeanor; possession of paraphernalia, a class C misdemeanor; dealing in methamphetamine with enhancing circumstances, a level 2 felony; and possession of methamphetamine with enhancing circumstances, a level 4 felony.
Amber Lynn Dovichi, 37, Cedar Lake, is charged with false informing, a class B misdemeanor; and providing a false identity statement, a class A misdemeanor.
On Sept. 10, 2020, a Warsaw Police officer was participating in specialized patrol for increased criminal activity in the area of South Union Street. During his patrol, the officer noticed a vehicle driving up to a residence in the area and ran the registration on it. The officer believed that the woman operating the vehicle was Stephens, who had a suspended driving status. At the time, the vehicle had two female occupants.
According to court documents, the officer turned around and by the time he returned to the vehicle, one of the women had gone into the residence and retrieved a dog, and the other woman was not in view. The officer approached the residence at the same time a woman, later identified as Taylor Leanne Turcotte, 33, Illinois, exited the residence. Turcotte told the officer she was not driving the vehicle and identified the other woman in the vehicle by a false name. Turcotte eventually admitted to being the vehicle’s driver and was taken into custody for false informing. Turcotte gave officers permission to search her residence for Stephens.
While searching the residence, the officer found drug paraphernalia in clear view and a small chunk of methamphetamine in a bedroom. It was later determined that someone was locked in one of the residence’s rooms; after knocking multiple times, a woman opened the door. The woman was later identified as Dovichi, who initially falsely identified herself to officers and said she resided there. When asked about drugs in the residence, Dovichi indicated toward the direction of a room Turcotte was seated in. Dovichi also pointed out a cell phone left behind by Stephens when she left the residence.
A search warrant was applied for and granted at 418 S. Union St. Apartment C., Warsaw. In Stephens’ and Dovichi’s bedroom, officers found drug paraphernalia, a schedule 4 drug, a phone belonging to Stephens, and a wallet containing identification for Dovichi.
Officers also found drug paraphernalia and 0.7 grams of methamphetamine in the residence’s living room. In the vehicle outside of the home, officers found $720 in counterfeit $20 bills.
Dovichi told officers that Stephens burst into the living room and said the cops were outside. Stephens told Dovichi to say she went out the front door. Dovichi also admitted to lying about her identity due to active arrest warrants. She said the schedule 4 drug found in their bedroom belonged to Stephens. Dovichi told officers she occasionally uses methamphetamine but that Stephens and Turcotte use the drug all day long.
She said both Stephens and Turcotte had just returned from South Bend after picking up a half-ounce of methamphetamine.
A search warrant was applied for and granted for Stephens’ cell phone. In the search, officers found text messages between Stephens and a third party setting up the purchase of a half-ounce of methamphetamine in South Bend for $450. Messages were also found between Stephens and Turcotte arranging a drug purchase.
Stephens was previously convicted of dealing in a controlled substance in December 2011.
Turcotte has already been arrested on this matter and has a pretrial conference on Aug. 2.
Stephens and Dovichi were both arrested on July 16.