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Veteran IMPD officer charged in connection with marijuana grow

Christina Slack, a 22-year veteran of the department, has been charged for possession of marijuana and growing or cultivating marijuana.

INDIANAPOLIS — A veteran IMPD officer and her boyfriend have been charged in connection with a marijuana grow following an IMPD Special Investigation Unit investigation, the department said Wednesday.

On Dec. 27, 2021, IMPD officers were dispatched to the 2900 block of South Pasadena Street regarding a domestic disturbance. When officers discovered one of the people involved was a current IMPD officer, 22-year veteran Christina Slack, detectives from IMPD's Special Investigation Unit were requested for further investigation. Slack was off-duty at the time.

A responding detective smelled raw marijuana inside the home. When he questioned Slack, she said her boyfriend, Jamel Owens, assaulted her. According to the probable cause affidavit, she had visible swelling and abrasions. The detective also questioned Owens about the incident, whose story was different than Slack's.

The detective arrested Owens for battery and domestic battery. The Marion County Prosecutor's Office filed charges in that crime on Dec. 28, 2021.

As police arrested Owens, he yelled to check a bedroom in the back of the home, saying Slack had marijuana in the house, according to documents. When the detective checked the room, he saw a marijuana grow operation. He then went to write a search warrant to enter the room.

Once a judge granted the warrant, officers found 18 marijuana plants, LED lights and an air filtration system. There were also psychedelic mushrooms in the room. In Slack and Owens' shared bedroom, police found marijuana seeds, plus a pipe in the garage.

Officers also got a search warrant for Slack's and Owens' cellphones, where they found various text conversations, photos and videos related to buying and growing marijuana. In one video from October 2021, Owens says the grow project is for Slack's pain management for previous surgeries. He then says he will tell everyone she's a "dirty cop."

On Tuesday, March 22, the prosecutor's office filed charges against both Slack and Owens for possession of marijuana, growing or cultivating marijuana and possession of marijuana, where a defendant knows it is growing on-premise and fails to destroy.

"Learning that one of IMPD's officers was charged is never something I want to hear. These charges are certainly a disappointment for me and the entire department," IMPD Chief Randal Taylor said in a statement. "At the same time, I appreciate the work of detectives within the department who investigated this incident to the fullest."

IMPD said detectives will continue working with the Marion County Prosecutor's Office on the case. 

Slack will be suspended pending a recommendation of termination to the Civilian Police Merit Board, IMPD said.

MORE: IMPD sergeant facing felony charges for violent arrest

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