UPDATE: More info released on drug arrests of three Batesville men late last week

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More information has been released regarding last week’s arrest of three Batesville men on drug charges after the execution of a search warrant.

The warrant came as part of a Dec. 18 undercover operation, according to information filed in Independence County Circuit Court.

Court documents say a “controlled buy” of methamphetamine was made from Jason Laden, 43, at his residence at 210 Brewer Hill Rd.

After conducting surveillance of Laden’s residence directly after the purchase, officers followed Laden driving an all-terrain vehicle to the residence of Larry Allen Caldwell, 63, at 20 Kyle St. Caldwell is described in the affidavit of probable cause for arrest as a “known narcotics associate of Laden.”

After going inside Caldwell’s for a short time, authorities observed Laden get back on the ATV and leave. Officials then stopped Laden for driving the ATV on the main roadway.

Since he was an active probationer, officers searched Laden and were able to discover a bag of pills identified as Loratab, along with “buy money used in the controlled purchase of Methamphetamine,” the affidavit stated. Investigators then detained Laden and transported him to his residence.

Officers spoke with Caldwell in his front yard, and after denying knowing Laden, he then admitted to not only acknowledging Laden’s recent visit, but also to having “an ounce of Methamphetamine” in his front pocket, court records said. Authorities then asked for, and received, permission from Caldwell to search the home, the documents noted.

After searches were performed on Laden’s and Caldwell’s residences, authorities say illegal drugs and paraphernalia were discovered and confiscated at both houses.

William Earl Donaldson III, 23, was also found in the Laden residence and in possession of illegal narcotics, court filings note. He was taken into custody, along with Caldwell and Laden.

All three were charged with various drug-related felonies: Donaldson III with three felonies, Caldwell with five felonies, and Laden was charged with six felonies plus was charged as a habitual offender. Both Laden and Caldwell were charged with maintaining a drug premises.

Laden was placed on a $250,000 bond, while Caldwell and Donaldson III were put on $10,000 bonds.

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