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Fifth Man Arrested in Connection with Indiana HIV Outbreak

Fifth Man Arrested in Connection with Indiana HIV Outbreak


Men allegedly distributed drugs that led to HIV infections.

A fifth man was arrested in connection with a drug-related Indiana HIV outbreak, according to the Associated Press. 

The Drug Enforcement Agency annouced last week that 33-year-old Charles Pruett was the latest arrest for conspiracy to deal methanphetamine in sothern Indiana. Michael Elkins, 24, and John Morgan, 28, were arrested on June 16 for dealing methamphetamine, possession of a narcotic and possession of Opana, a painkiller many were using as an injection drug. Two others — Tyler Turner and William Thrower — are suspected couriers and were in possession of a half a pound of meth at the time of their arrest on June 20. 

Users of the drugs shared injection needles, which spurred the rapid HIV infection rate in two small, rural Indiana counties. Currently, at least 170 people have gotten HIV in Clark and Scott Counties. The rapidity and per capita size of the outbreak makes it the worst in U.S. history.  

The multi-agency investigation has shown that Elkins had traveled to Scott County many times over the last eight months to allegedly distribute meth, which is what led investigators to the other suspects. More arrests are anticipated, and Elkins, Morgan, Turner and Thrower are being held on a $50,000 cash-only bond. No court date has been set yet.

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