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Affidavit: Man arrested on dealing charge in ongoing drug investigation on West Franklin Street

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JOSEPH DONALD FRANKS, age 24, of Evansville

JOSEPH DONALD FRANKS, age 24, of Evansville (Vanderburgh County Jail photo)

Another arrest has been made in connection to an ongoing drug investigation along West Franklin Street in Evansville, Indiana, according to police.

An affidavit from the Evansville Police Department says 24-year-old Joseph Franks was arrested on a dealing charge on Thursday night after leaving Lamasco Bar and Grill on West Franklin Street.

Investigators say the ongoing investigation dates as far back as 2019, when detectives were looking into an overdose case. They say they were led to information that a Lamasco employee was possibly involved in the overdose, and frequently sold heroin, marijuana, cocaine, and pills at both Lamasco and Sportsman's.

In 2022, detectives say they started an investigation into the distribution of controlled substances at the Franklin Street bars, conducting surveillance.

During that surveillance detectives say they saw and began investigating Franks, who lived at an apartment on Southeast 2nd Street.

Investigators say they received tips from confidential informants that Franks was using and dealing controlled substances, specifically cocaine, ketamine, psilocybin mushrooms, and LSD.

As the investigation continued, authorities say they conducted controlled purchases of psilocybin mushrooms from Franks, who would travel to and from the apartment during the deal.

On Thursday, officials with the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Drug Task Force say they got a search warrant for Franks' apartment on Southeast 2nd Street.

During the search, drug task force officials say they found 71 grams of dried mushrooms, a plastic bag with blotter paper that field tested positive for LSD, multiple baggies, two digital scales with residue, and $4,531 in cash (including $100 of drug task force buy money).

They say they also found other substances in bedrooms at the apartment that field tested positive for cocaine, LSD, and MDMA.

Officials say they were looking for Franks on Thursday when they saw his vehicle parked in the lot at Lamasco. They say they saw him exit Lamasco, walk over to his vehicle, and then get into an Uber.

After pulling over the Uber, Franks was taken into custody and booked into the Vanderburgh County Jail on the charge of Dealing Schedule I Substance, according to the affidavit.

Multiple other individuals have been arrested in connection to the ongoing investigation so far, including Lamasco owner and EVSC school board member Amy Word, according to police.

Evansville school board member and bar owner Amy Word makes first court appearance following arrest
Former Lamasco employee latest facing dealing charge in drug investigation, Evansville police say
EPD: Man charged with dealing cocaine said he would deliver it inside Lamasco while working

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