BEDFORD – Lawrence Superior Court I Judge John Plummer III sentenced a 40-year-old Louisville, Ky., man to 14 years in the Indiana Department of Correction Wednesday after he pleaded guilty to dealing methamphetamine as a part of a negotiated plea agreement with the State of Indiana.
Eric Michael Flaherty was arrested by Indiana State Police on Jan. 5, 2021, when he was stopped on State Road 37 with Heather Blessing after the two traveled to Louisville, Ky., to pick up a large amount of methamphetamine that they planned to sell in Lawrence County. Troopers attempted to stop the two just north of Orleans, but the couple continued driving to evade capture. They were eventually caught on State Road 37, just north of Mitchell, after troopers deployed stop sticks, deflating their vehicle’s tires. Officers found more than 300 grams of crystal methamphetamine during the traffic stop.
In November, Blessing pleaded guilty to dealing methamphetamine, a Level 3 felony, and she, too, was sentenced to 14 years in prison as a part of a negotiated plea agreement with the State of Indiana.
“Our office cannot state enough the importance of cooperation in the criminal justice system,” said Lawrence County Deputy Prosecutor Ryne Koucouthakis, who negotiated both plea agreements on behalf of the State of Indiana and Lawrence County Prosecutors Office. “The cases against these two individuals helped remove more than 300 grams of methamphetamine from the streets of Lawrence County. Our officers did a fantastic job, putting their investigation techniques toward taking drugs out of our community, so we could appropriately get these offenders in prison where they belong.”
As a part of the plea agreement with Flaherty, the state dropped the additional charges of possession of methamphetamine and obstruction of justice.