Four arrested made in connection to drug trafficking in Steuben County

Alphonso Vasquez, Amanda Vasquez, Nikyla Church, Isaiah Pearl

STEUBEN CO., Ind. (ADAMS) – What started out as a reported altercation involving a person armed with a shotgun has led to the arrest of four people in connection with a drug trafficking investigation in Steuben County.

Alphonso Vasquez, Amanda Vasquez, Nikyla Church, and Isaiah Pearl are now facing a host of charges following what police think was a drug-related incident.

The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office released the following:

On 03/19/2023 just before 6:00 pm, Steuben County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a residence in the 900 block of S Wayne St in the city of Angola on a report of a violent altercation with a person armed with a shotgun. The incident had occurred nearly 12 hours earlier at a residence in 3800 block of East Peachy Rd in Steuben County’s rural Fremont Township.

When initial responding deputies arrived, they spoke to a female victim who indicated that she and another male victim had been involved in an altercation at around 4:30 am on the 19th with a male subject who was identified as 40 year old Alphonso Vasquez II of rural Fremont, IN. During that altercation, Vasquez allegedly pointed a loaded shotgun at both victims and made threats towards them. During the altercation, Vasquez allegedly fired the shotgun through an open door to the outside.

Vasquez then cycled the shotgun and pointed at the two alleged victims again. The female reported that she then pushed the barrel of the shotgun away from her and another shot was fired inside the house. At that point, it was reported that another female occupant of the residence was able to get the shotgun away from Vasquez and hide it. Both victims were then able to leave the residence.

Sheriff’s detectives were then called into continue the investigation. A subsequent search warrant was obtained for the Peachy Rd address, and later executed under safer circumstances by the Steuben County Sheriff’s Special Response Tactical Team with the assistance of the Auburn Police Emergency Response Team, due to the information regarding the use of the firearm. Once the tactical teams secured the residence, Sheriff’s detectives conducted a search and several items believed to be evidence related to the incident were located and seized along with several suspected narcotics.

The initial reported suspect in the altercation, Alphonso Vasquez II was also located and taken into custody at that time. Following several subsequent interviews with all of the occupants of the Peachy Rd residence including Vasquez by Sheriff’s detectives, it was determined that the original altercation stemmed from a dispute over a recent drug trafficking incident that several people at the Peachy Rd residence were allegedly involved in. That information led to Sheriff’s detectives obtaining a second search warrant for a residence in the 100 block of North Ray St in the town of Fremont.

On 03/20/2023, at around 4:30 pm, Sheriff’s detectives executed the second search warrant on the Ray St address in connection with the alleged drug trafficking portion of the investigation. A search of that residence did not yield any further evidence connected to the investigation. The following people were booked into the Steuben County Jail in connection with the investigation.

40 year old Alphonso Vasquez II of rural Fremont, IN: Intimidation with a deadly weapon – level 5 felony Criminal Recklessness with a firearm – level 5 felony Domestic Battery with a firearm – level 5 felony Pointing a loaded firearm – level 6 felony Dealing in a controlled substance – level 6 felony Possession of Marijuana – class B misdemeanor Possession of Paraphernalia – class C misdemeanor Criminal Mischief – class B misdemeanor

32 year old Amanda Vasquez of rural Fremont, IN: Dealing in a controlled substance – level 6 felony Obstruction of Justice – level 6 felony Possession of Marijuana – class B misdemeanor Possession of Paraphernalia – class C misdemeanor

19 year old Isaiah Pearl of rural Fremont, IN: Dealing a controlled substance – level 6 felony

20 year old Nikyla Church of Defiance, OH: Dealing in a controlled substance – level 6 felony

The case remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and additional suspects and criminal charges may be sought. Assisting the Sheriff’s Office in the investigation were Auburn Police and the Indiana State Police.