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Couple charged in federal court with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in Quad-City area

Couple charged in federal court with conspiring to distribute methamphetamine in Quad-City area

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A Davenport man and woman are facing federal charges after investigators say they conspired to sell crystal "ice" methamphetamine in Davenport and the Quad-Cities.

On Thursday, a federal grand jury indicted Todd Matthew Haulk, 51, and his girlfriend, Helen Louise Whitinger, 58, on charges of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and three counts of possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance in U.S. District Court, Davenport.

Haulk additionally was indicted on a charge of distribution of a controlled substance.

They will be arraigned Friday. A federal complaint was initially filed July 15 and they made an initial appearance in the case July 26, according to court records.

According to the federal complaint, Quad-City narcotics investigators began investigating a drug trafficking organization distributing methamphetamine in the Quad-Cities, predominantly in Davenport.

The investigation revealed that since at least March, Haulk and Whitinger conspired with each other and others to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute not less than 4 pounds of methamphetamine in Davenport.

A confidential source told police that on at least two prior occasions, Haulk obtained methamphetamine from a source in California and arranged for a shipment of at least 2 ½ pounds of methamphetamine that was scheduled to arrive in late April.

The same month, investigators conducted a controlled purchase of 4 ounces of ice methamphetamine for $2,000 at the couple's home in the 1200 block of South Vermont Avenue.

On April 29, investigators searched Haulk’s home and phone.

Haulk was on his phone while investigators tried to detain him; a short time later, Whitinger left the home in her vehicle.

She was stopped and detained by investigators, who believed she may be attempting to remove evidence from the home.

During the search of the home, investigators found about 3 pounds of ice methamphetamine in the drop ceiling of the basement and about a pound of methamphetamine in the back seat of his truck, inside the attached garage.

They also found packaging material, a digital scale and a vacuum sealer, and another 11 grams of methamphetamine inside the home.

A K-9 responded to the location where Whitinger was detained and provided a positive alert for the presence of narcotics in her vehicle. Inside, investigators found multiple money transfer receipts originating from her to someone who was identified as the supplier for Haulk and Whitinger.

Investigators interviewed Haulk, who said he was introduced to his supplier in February or March and that he initially pooled money with another person to obtain a half-pound of ice methamphetamine that was then redistributed. He then made arrangements to purchase more of the drug from the same source.

Haulk provided Whitinger with $3,000 that she used to wire money as a down payment for a shipment of methamphetamine.

On April 21, the supplier sent Haulk and Whitinger 4 pounds of methamphetamine, which Haulk began to distribute. Whitinger assisted in distributing ounces of ice methamphetamine to his customers, Haulk told investigators.

He also said that on April 29, he drove to Omaha, Nebraska, picked up his supplier and then went to Denver, Colorado, where he was provided 4 pounds of methamphetamine.

He returned to Davenport and placed 3 pounds of the drug in the drop ceiling of his basement. Haulk was distributing methamphetamine to at last five street-level distributors.

Investigators searched both of their phones, which contained messages between the two, as well as with other co-conspirators, that were indicative of buying and selling methamphetamine, wiring money to their supplier, and arranging travel plans in connection with the drug conspiracy, according to the criminal complaint.

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