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Last updated on Saturday, October 5, 2013
(NEW CASTLE) - At Lovell’s Lounge in New Castle, just $3 will buy whatever drink you choose.
The Henry County Prosecutor says it could also buy you a number of illegal drugs.
"Sales of cocaine, prescription pills and marijana were occuring there, so they started an investigation," said Joe Bergacs, Henry County Prosecutor.
Undercover officers, posing as patrons, bought Suboxone and Buprenorphine from 34-year-old Jonathan Perkins, a bartender at Lovell's. It capped off a seven month investigation and ended with Perkins behind bars.
The only reason prosecutors say they even knew about the alleged drug dealing was because of tips called into the Henry County drug hotline.
"Clearly the anonymous tips coming into the hotline indicated that the bartender there was dealing drugs at the restaurant, or at the bar, so others obviously knew about it," said Bergacs.
While customers may have been well aware, authorities weren't. In fact, they call the case rare.
"It's the first time I've seen a case in which someone is allegedly dealing drugs as a bartender here, with a number of patrons in the restaurant just so openly doing that in front of all these people, never had that experience before," said Bergacs.
Prosectuors say there are no other suspects right now but they're still investigating things like how Perkins got all the drugs he was selling.
But for now, they're celebrating a victory; that a drug dealer is off the streets of Henry County, and that the community's help is what made it happen.
"Any person who's dealing drugs in the community is a danger to the community. So it's important to get those individuals who are dealing drugs off the streets and so that those drugs aren't in the hands of people who shouldn't be having them," said Bergacs.
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