The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local News

December 23, 2010

Tea Party founder arrested on drug charges

Sheriff: Raid on Alexandria home uncovers drugs, guns

ANDERSON, Ind. — A founder of the American Tea Party of Madison County who unsuccessfully ran for Monroe Township Trustee last month has been charged with dealing drugs from her Alexandria home.

Nova M. Guffey, 47, of the 600 block of Broadway Street, was arrested Wednesday night after an operation that involved agents from the Madison County Drug Task Force and the Madison County Sheriff’s Department’s Special Weapons and Tactics team, Sheriff Ron Richardson said Thursday.

Guffey was charged with a Class B felony count of dealing schedule 3 controlled substances and a count of maintaining a common nuisance, a Class D felony. She was released from the Madison County Jail after posting a $20,000 surety bond.

Also arrested was Steven P. Guffey, 19, Nova Guffey’s son who lived at the residence. He remained in the Madison County Jail on Thursday evening on $50,000 cash bond.

Steven Guffey was charged with two counts each of dealing controlled substances as a Class B felony and dealing marijuana, a Class D felony, and a single Class D felony count of maintaining a common nuisance.

Richardson said DTF and SWAT agents executed a search warrant on the Guffey home shortly before 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, looking for stolen weapons and drugs. He said five people were taken into custody without incident, though only Steven and Nova Guffey had been charged as of Thursday evening.

Richardson said drugs and firearms were found in the house, but further details were not immediately available. “Information on at least one (gun) confirmed it was reported stolen,” he said.

The investigation is continuing, and Richardson said additional charges are possible.

Nova Guffey was an organizer of the American Tea Party of Madison County, but she stepped down from her leadership role to seek elective office. In November, she ran as an independent for the position of Monroe Township Trustee. She lost to Republican Jon Cooper by a margin of about 73 percent to 27 percent.

Steven Guffey this month entered a guilty plea in an unrelated case in which he was charged with two Class D felony counts of receiving stolen property. A disposition hearing in that case has been set for April 18 at 1 p.m. in Madison County Superior Court 5.

Contact Dave Stafford: 648-4250, dave.stafford@heraldbulletin.com

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