Ronald Jeffries, left, and John R. Ebler, Jr.

Crime is down in Gary and the TIPS hotline is providing results

Contributed By: The 411 News

Search leads to confiscation of numerous illegal weapons, illicit drugs, and cash

Calls to the Gary Police Department’s TIPS hotline gave investigators enough information to lead to the arrest of a Gary man and a Merrillville man, and the successful confiscation of numerous illegal weapons, illicit drugs, and cash.

At a press conference held Wednesday afternoon in the Public Safety Facility, Gary Chief of Police Derrick Cannon recognized the hard work of his department’s narcotics unit, adding “I want to say that we have another partner and that partner is you, the community. The voice of the community stated they had an issue and we went towards it.”

GPD’s Investigation Division Commander Jack Hamady said both men became targets of narcotics investigators in February. Following drug purchases from the two men by confidential informants, search warrants were executed on the homes in Gary and Merrillville.

During the search of Ronald Jeffries residence, in the 5100 block of Ohio Court in Gary, police found 36 grams of heroin, $12,116 in cash, and 13 firearms. Traces of cocaine were found on 3 digital scales.

Cmdr. Hamady said Jeffries is facing 9 felony charges. John Russell Ebler Jr., of the 6300 block of Harrison in Merrillville, is charged with two Level 2 felonies. Their individual charges include dealing in illegal substances with the intent to deliver.

Both have April court dates.

Looking at the people supplying heroin and cocaine within the city gave the department a window into other statistics.

The department recorded 200 service calls for drug overdoses in 2023. At this time last year, there were 34 overdoses with twelve deaths. In 2024, overdoses were down to 23 with only five fatalities. “Narcan has saved a lot of people. Every time that Narcan was deployed, that individual was saved,” Hamady said.

Homicides are at a historic low for this time of year, Hamady said. “Last year at this time we had 17; currently, we only have five homicides.” Gunshot wounds are just about the same – 26 this year and 27 last year.

Even though they are not directly the cause, we must hold gun and drug dealers accountable because of the connections they have to the people committing crime and violence, said Chief Cannon. “It provides the legitimacy and trust to our community members that say that we're doing something.”

The Gary Police tips hotline can be reached by calling or by texting (219) 207-8477 (TIPS). The Gary Police Narcotics Tip Line is (219) 886-0503.

Gary Police Chief Derrick Cannon, l-r, Mayor Eddie Melton, and Commander Jack Hamady at podium gave updates on crime reduction

Story Posted:04/05/2024

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