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Former deputy linked to international drug ring

Posted at 9:58 PM, Jan 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-15 18:07:13-05

HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. -- A former Hendricks County Sheriff's deputy is facing new charges alleging his involvement with an international drug dealing operation led by the pastor of an east side church.

Jason Woods was formally charged Thursday with multiple felony counts, including corrupt business influence, bribery, official misconduct and dealing in synthetic drugs.

Investigators accuse Woods of providing security in his marked police vehicle for persons engaged in the manufacture and sale of synthetic drugs – specifically "spice." Woods is also accused of writing multiple checks for the purchase of controlled substances used in the manufacture of spice.

Woods and his wife Teresa were both fired as Hendricks County Sheriff's deputies in May 2014 over the alleged mishandling of funds. They were arrested in December of that on allegations of possession of synthetic drugs after police allegedly found $80,000 and more than 100 grams of synthetic drugs in a safe the Woods' owned.

MORE | Husband, wife deputies fired in Hendricks County

The arrest came after Teresa Woods' brother, Tom Duckwall, alerted police to a safe the couple had left behind containing tens of thousands of dollars in cash, as well as a bag containing a "crystalline substance."

"Duckwall stated that Teresa Woods told him she did not want investigators to seize the items if they searched the Woods' home," investigators wrote.

Court documents filed Thursday detail the Woods' longtime relationship with Robert Jaynes, the former pastor of the Irvington Bible Baptist Church accused of roping church members and relatives into an international drug operation that spanned from China to New Palestine.

Jaynes and Jason Woods were also longtime friends with Russell Taylor – now serving 27 years in prison on unrelated charges for creating and funneling child pornography to his former employer, Jared Fogle.

A 2013 raid on properties owned or connected to Jaynes turned up hundreds of pounds of suspect synthetic drug manufacturing materials, along with thousands of plastic baggies labeled "Darkness," "Avalon," "Pirates Booty," "Kite" and "Zero Gravity." Employees – many of whom were relatives or members of Jaynes' church – told police they were filling 5,000-10,000 baggies a day with "potpourri" for Jaynes, who would pay them in cash.

Jaynes was arrested in June 2014 on a federal warrant for conspiracy to traffic in controlled substances and conspiracy to introduce and/or receive misbranded drugs in interstate commerce. Another affiliate of the Woods, Doug Sloan, was arrested on similar charges in Missouri.

Jaynes' bookkeeper told police Jason Woods had come to his office to scan for "bugs" because Jaynes was paranoid about competitors and suspected they had bugged the office. Other employees said Woods had allegedly provided an escort in a marked police vehicle when the synthetic drug operation was moved from Jamestown to a residence in New Palestine.

Teresa Woods told police she and her husband knew their friends had been involved in selling spice, but thought it ended when the drug was made illegal in 2011.

"I mean yeah I knew, we both knew that the Sloans had been involved with that stuff back when it was legal, but as far as we knew, when it was banned, it was done," Woods said, according to police.

Prosecutors had not filed additional charges against Teresa Woods, and it was not immediately clear whether they intended to.

The federal case against Janes was moved to the Eastern District of Missouri, where it remains ongoing. A change of plea hearing scheduled for the end of this month was delayed for medical reasons.

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