Police find suspected drug dealer at homeless shelter

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

When Pineville Police went looking for a suspected drug dealer, they found their man, but not where you might expect.

"We went to pick him up. He wasn't there. He was out working a detail with the homeless shelter," said Kenny Shaw with Pineville Police Department.

Pineville Police picked up Rusty Surgener, 36, Friday on seven drug charges, including one charge for engaging in organized crime.

"To us it seemed more like he was on the run, just hiding," said Shaw.

They got a tip he was staying at the Lighthouse Ministries shelter downtown.

Pineville Police picked him up Friday morning at the shelter, while he was still in bed.

The shelter said something like this was expected.

"When you're in the position of reaching out to help people, sometimes people aren't totally honest with you. You have to understand that upfront," said Darrell Lowe of Lighthouse Ministries.

When Surgener didn't have an ID, they called police to run a background check.
That is when they realized he was a wanted man.

"Sometimes you get used in order to help those that are in need," said Lowe.

"We were fortunate enough to be able to get him," said Shaw.

Surgener was sent to Whitley County to face those charges. He remains in jail on a $15,000 bond.

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