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PENDLETON — Three local men have been charged on suspicion of dealing cocaine by the Madison County Drug Task Force.

Their arrests stem from an investigation the task force conducted May 2, following a tip from Pendleton Police Chief Mark Farrer.

Tanner M. Perkins, 24, and Richard B. Ahlefeld, 55, both of Pendleton, were charged with Level 2 felony dealing in cocaine. Joshua L. Johnson, 40, Pendleton, was charged with Level 2 felony aiding, inducing, or causing dealing in a narcotic drug of at least 10 grams, and Level 4 felony possession of cocaine.

Members of the task force were notified by Farrer that Perkins was expected to deliver a quantity of cocaine to Ahlefeld at his business, the Hitching Post Saloon and Grill, on May 2, according to the probable cause affidavit filed in the case.

Officers began watching the restaurant, and saw Perkins drive up, go into the area where Ahlefeld's office was said to be. When he left, and disregarded a stop sign at the intersection of West Reformatory Road and South Pendleton Avenue, Pendleton police pulled him over for the infraction, court documents said.

Perkins was informed that police had information he was dealing cocaine. Perkins denied the allegation, but allowed police to search his car. Officers located $917 in the car, and a portion of a white pill, in a plastic baggie later identified as controlled substance called Subutex.

Perkins claimed the drug was prescribed, but he was unable to provide a valid prescription and was arrested.

Meanwhile, other members of the task force went to Ahlefeld's office and allegedly found about 10 grams of the drug in plain sight, and a larger amount in small plastic bags, according to the affidavit.

During interviews with investigators, all three men allegedly said they used some of the drugs. An additional charged was filed against Johnson because he allegedly brokered the deal, according to the court affidavit.

Perkins is currently being held at the Madison County Jail on $35,000 bond. Johnson and Ahlefeld were released from jail after posting $35,000 bond.

Like Stu Hirsch on Facebook and follow him @stuhirsch on Twitter, or call 765-640-4861.

​Like Stu Hirsch on Facebook and follow him @stuhirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.

Native of Maryland who moved to Indiana 20 years ago. I've covered every news beat imaginable over a long career as an editor and reporter. I am currently the courts reporter for The Herald Bulletin.

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