Newton Neighbors Not Surprised Authorities Found Drugs in House

NEWTON, Iowa -- Even after a drug bust that landed six people in jail, people still won't stay away from the house in Newton where it happened. Two days after a drug task force executed a search warrant at 715 W 4th St. N, and arrested six people on drug charges, our cameras captured Newton Police taking another person into custody at the same house.

"Even now, after they`re in jail, they`re still going over there," said neighbor Jamie Vasquez. "I don`t know if they`re looking for drugs or what they`re doing, but I don`t know, I hope they can get them all cleaned up and out of here. I`m happy they`re out of my neighborhood."

The Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force reported finding numerous drugs inside the house, including heroin, meth, cocaine, prescription pills and drug paraphernalia.

Six people now face drug-related charges in the case: Tyler Gilbert, Crystal Mendenhall, Jeffrey Waddell, William Filson, Julie Waddell, and Mary Jo Sliger.

Neighbors are not surprised.

"It`s about time, yeah, it`s been about a year and half that those people have lived here and before that there was other people living there that were also dealing drugs out of the house," said Vasquez. "So, I`m very happy they`re gone."

"I was relieved honestly," said Zach Gressley. "It`s been going on for a little while. We definitely knew, the cops were just trying to get enough information to, you know, make the bust and they finally did, when I was at work. So, I wish I would have been here to see it, but I unfortunately wasn`t available."

Gressley says the six people who were arrested are familiar faces.

"Yeah, I recognize them all, because I`ve seen them all around there," said Gressley.

"We knew it was going on, we just, we didn`t know how to handle it," said Gressley. "They`re definitely dangerous people that go into that kind of business."

As a single mother of three, Vasquez did not feel safe.

"There`s been people in my yard that I`ve chased out of my yard," said Vasquez. "I`ve had to put motion lights up. There`s somebody going through my garbage. I couldn`t leave for work in the morning, because I had to wait and shoo them away, before I could leave and it`s caused me to get a big dog."

Vasquez bought a pitbull, "...because he barks loud and I think that would probably deter them hopefully, from breaking into my house."

The MINE Task Force said the warrant was executed in an expeditious manner due to the numerous heroin overdoses that have occurred in the community of Newton within the last week.  The Task Force also said that through an investigation, its detectives were able to gather evidence which indicates a heroin distribution operation was going on.