News From Terre Haute, Indiana

March 31, 2014

8 years for corrupt business

Investigation uncovered stolen property, drugs at Oak St. business

Staff Report
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — A Terre Haute businessman has received an eight-year prison sentence, of which he is to serve six years on in-home detention for his guilty plea in two criminal cases.

Darrell E. Shouse, 54, appeared in Vigo Superior Court 3 on Monday where defense attorneys Darrell Felling and James Organ presented numerous character witnesses and requested that Shouse’s sentence be served on in-home detention through the Vigo County Community Corrections Program.

Shouse made a statement to the court, apologizing for his actions, as he pleaded guilty to corrupt business influence, a class-C felony, and to attempted receiving stolen property, a class-D felony, in connection with a 2012 investigation by Terre Haute Police into an illegal enterprise in which merchandise stolen from area stores was purchased for resale.

When police served search warrants on Shouse’s house in the 800 block of Oak Street and at his auto detailing business in the 900 block of College Avenue, police located electronics, tools, cash, a handgun and documents believed to be connected to Shouse’s allegedly corrupt business dealings.

Shouse also pleaded guilty to a class-B felony charge of dealing in a controlled substance. He was charged in December 2012 with five felony drug-related counts alleging that he sold hydrocodone to a confidential informant on three occasions, and that he maintained a common nuisance on two occasions.

“I know I did some wrong things,” Shouse told Judge David Bolk in his apology. “I let a lot of people down, including myself.”

Because Shouse had a 1993 felony conviction for dealing cocaine, his sentence in the current drug case was non-suspendable, Bolk pointed out. Of the eight-year sentence on the new drug conviction, Bolk ordered that six years be served on in-home detention with two years suspended to formal probation. A sentence of three years for the corrupt business influence conviction will be served at the same time.

Shouse has already paid restitution of $3,100, owed to THPD for funds invested during the investigation of the corruption case.