An ongoing investigation led by Sgt. Det. Josh Goodman of the Linton Police Department into unlawful possession of explosive devices by individuals has resulted in another arrest -- this time in Clay County over the weekend, with assistance from the Clay County Sheriff's Department and other agencies.
Donald D. "Donnie" Bickel, 51, was taken into custody during the early morning hours Saturday by a contingent of officers who arrived at his home to serve a sealed arrest warrant issued out of Clay County.
Bickel was incarcerated in Clay County and according to a report from the Linton Police Department, the warrant was issued on a preliminary charge of possession of controlled explosives by a convicted felon as a class B felony.
This investigation has been going on since at least last fall and all court records and warrants issued have been sealed both in Greene and Clay county cases. Probable cause affidavits on suspects have become public record after arrests are made.
Two other men have been arrested previously as a result of this investigation.
Paul Matthew Turpin, 37, of Linton, was arrested and charged with possession of a regulated explosive by a convicted felon, a class C felony.
Darryl W. Moore, 33, also of Linton, was arrested and was also charged with the same class C felony on Jan. 4.
Though both Turpin and Moore are facing class C felonies, the LPD report states Bickel is expected to be charged with a more serious class B felony. Information about why Bickel may be charged with a class B is not available until courts reopen after the MLK, Jr. holiday and a judge lifts the seal so that a probable cause becomes public information.
In addition to work by Linton police officers, a number of law enforcement agencies and personnel have been involved in this investigation: The Greene County Drug Task Force including personnel from LPD, the Jasonville Police Department and Worthington Police Department with assistance provided by the Clay County Sheriff's Department, the Indiana State Police and the Indiana State Police Emergency Response Team.
A number of those were on the scene with Clay County officers early Saturday at Bickel's residence, located at 4541 West County Road 1350S, Jasonville, when the arrest warrant was served.
Officers reported finding ammunition in Bickel's pocket and they observed firearms in plain view in Bickel's truck. A search warrant was issued in continuance of the investigation and it was executed. The LPD report states "officers recovered firearms and ammunition from Mr. Bickel's vehicle, residence and property."
It also states officers are preparing and forwarding information to the Clay County Prosecutor's Office for possible additional charges of possession of firearms by a serious violent felon.
The first suspect arrested, Turpin, has not posted bond and remains in the Greene County Jail awaiting trial.
Also arrested in Greene County, on Jan. 4, Moore did post bond and was released, but then was arrested in Clay County on Jan. 12 in an unrelated incident. In that case, Moore is accused of driving under the influence, with controlled substances in his vehicle, which he had just crashed in a ditch -- a van police said had been reported as stolen.
In the explosives case investigation, affidavits that have become public record so far indicate the LPD was leading the investigation with assistance from the Indiana State Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team. At least one explosive device was seized by police and upon inspection, an ISP trooper said it was a regulated explosive under Indiana law and illegal for convicted felons to possess. He said the item was called a cap booster and was commonly used when setting off large charges of explosives.
Affidavits state that during an interview with one individual, officers were told Turpin had a backpack containing at least 12 of the devices at one point, and they were delivered to another individual.
Law enforcement officials have not commented further on the case or whether the investigation is complete or ongoing, or whether more arrests are expected.