An investigation into alleged illegal steroid possession and distribution by a Scott County Sheriff’s Deputy has resulted in his arrest as well as the arrest of a Scott County reserve officer on related charges, according to Indiana State Police Sgt. Carey Huls.
On Monday, Nov. 25, Scott County Sheriff Jerry Goodin learned of possible illegal steroid use and distribution by Deputy Joe Don Baker. Goodin, a former ISP Sgt., contacted Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter and requested an investigation into the allegation.
Undercover officers from the ISP Drug Enforcement Section at the Sellersburg Post were assigned and began their investigation on Tuesday.
As a result of that investigation, in the early morning hours of Thanksgiving, Troopers arrested Dep. Joe Don Baker, 39, of Salem and Scott County Reserve Officer Phillip E. Thomas, 32, of Scottsburg.
Baker was charged with conspiracy to deal steroids, official misconduct, possession of hypodermic needle (all felony charges), and possession of controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor.
Thomas was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor.
Both Baker and Thomas were incarcerated in the Scott County Jail without incident.
Thomas has been an unpaid volunteer reserve deputy for about a year, Goodin said.
Baker has been in law enforcement for about 10 years, the last 3 three years with the Scott County Sheriff’s office, according to the sheriff.
Baker has been suspended without pay, according to the sheriff who said that the Scott County Merit Board will be holding a hearing in the future to determine whether Baker will remain employed as a Scott County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Members of the Scott County Merit Board include: Jeremy Arnold, Marvin Richey, Kenny Hughbanks, Richey Barton and Al Rigel.
“From my first day in office we made it perfectly clear that no matter who you are, you would be a target if you were dealing or involved in drug activity,” said Goodin. “I have set a high standard of conduct from my deputies and corrections officers. Failure to live by the standards we set, will not be overlooked.”
“This investigation will only strengthen the Scott County Sheriff’s office resolve as law enforcement professionals and should send a clear message to everyone that we are serious about our mission in making Scott County the safest place to visit and live,” he added
“Integrity along with ethics, character and reputation are all traits we as law enforcement professionals must uphold and protect,” he continued. “They are not an option. The criminal justice system rests on the credibility of police officers and their work.”