Marshall County Prosecutor Nelson Chipman announced the conviction and sentencing of 47-year-old Culver resident David Hite. Hite plead guilty in Marshall County Superior Court number 1 on one count of Dealing Methamphetamine as a Level 2 Felony. Chief Deputy Prosecutor Tami Napier and Hite’s attorney, Christopher Berdahl, arrived at a plea agreement that Judge Robert O. Bowen accepted on Thursday, July 16, 2020.
The investigation into Hite began in 2019. Hite made several sales of methamphetamine and plead guilty to a May 6, 2019 methamphetamine sale. The Marshall County Undercover Narcotics Investigation Team (UNIT) arranged a controlled buy from Hite and Hite chose the meeting place for the sale. Hite directed them to meet him in Plymouth at River Park Square. The sale occurred during the daytime and there were juveniles present when the sale occurred. UNIT officers and/or a confidential informant purchased six grams of methamphetamine from Hite. The sale of methamphetamine in a public park at a time when juveniles are present elevates the penalties under Indiana law.
Napier said “David Hite dealt methamphetamine in a park in Plymouth where juveniles were present. Dealing drugs is an inherently dangerous situation which is why the crime is treated so seriously under Indiana. Law enforcement’s efforts to catch dealers is integral to community safety. Mr. Hite was willing to admit his wrongdoing and was remorseful. Mr. Hite will be screened for treatment in prison for underlying substance abuse issues if they exist. Meanwhile, our community is safer.”
Judge Bowen accepted the plea agreement and, after hearing testimony from Hite and arguments from Napier and Berdahl, imposed a sentence of 17.5 years for the Level 2 Felony Dealing Methamphetamine. The 17.5 year sentence will consist of 10 years in the Indiana Department of Correction followed by a suspended period 2.5 years of probation and the remaining 5 years on non-reporting probation. Chief Deputy Napier and Hite’s attorney, Berdahl both argued for Recovery While Incarcerated, a program in which offenders receive intensive drug abuse treatment. Judge Bowen included in the sentence that Hite must participate in Recovery While Incarcerated and that Hite could modify his sentence if he successfully completes treatment.