An Indiana coroner arrested Thursday for dealing narcotics was caught while trying to sell 70 pills in a Kmart parking lot, court documents show.
La Porte County Deputy Coroner Dawn L. Maxson, 47, was charged with a level-four felony for dealing the narcotic Hydromorphone, a morphine derivative used to treat pain, according to the criminal complaint against her.
Maxson was held in lieu of a $20,000 cash bond, and further charges are pending, sheriff's officials said. Police also said the drugs were prescribed to her.
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Investigators say an informant tipped them off, launching a three-month investigation. Officials said they were aware Maxson was an employee in a county office from the beginning of the probe.
"While I'm very disappointed to see a public official charged with dealing drugs, I'm proud of the efforts and determination put forth by our Metro Narcotics team," La Porte County Sheriff John Boyd said in a statement. "Even more frustrating is the fact that as a deputy coroner, Maxson has been witness to lives lost due to the ravages of drug addiction she has chosen to deal narcotics. Let this arrest put drug dealers on notice that police officers in La Porte County are committed to pursuing all avenues when it comes to stopping drug sales."
Maxon's neighbors said she lived alone and was "very nice, very sweet."
"She would always talk to me about death because that is what she did for a living," Travis Mann said, who lives at the apartment complex Maxson has called home for almost a year.
"I wish the best for her and hope she gets the help she needs, but you also cannot slap her on the wrist," neighbor Theresa Oldham said.
Attorney information wasn't immediately available for Maxson.