GOSHEN — An Elkhart man who was injured in an apartment fire June 20 has been charged with dealing in methamphetamine.
Derrick Perkey, 23, of Elkhart, appeared for his initial hearing Thursday, June 28, at Elkhart Circuit Court. He faces up to 50 years in prison if he is convicted.
Perkey was brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair. He had bandages on his hands. Perkey had been taken to the hospital with injuries from the fire when police found him
He is accused of having been manufacturing meth when a fire broke out at Ridgewood Apartments.
The Elkhart Fire Department was called to 2701 Ridgewood Apartments to reports of an apartment fire. Firefighters called the police department when they found items inside the apartment that are consistent with manufacturing meth.
According to the probable cause affidavit filed for Perkey’s arrest, officers looked around the apartment and found a camping fuel can, several plastic bags with an unknown liquid inside, funnels, coffee filters, a cold pack and a bent spoon with burnt residue in it.
Police obtained a warrant and searched the apartment, where they found a melted one-pot meth vessel. They also found several other items that are commonly used to manufacture meth.
A witness who said he was friends with Perkey talked with police, saying Perkey was at his house the morning of June 20. He said he saw Perkey’s hands were badly burnt. The witness also said Perkey had told him he had burnt his hands while he was manufacturing meth.
Police found Perkey a few hours later in the 400 block of Jackson Place, who told them he had manufactured meth several times in the past, according to the affidavit.
Perkey’s trial has been scheduled for November 18 at 8:30 a.m. He has an attorney status hearing scheduled July 3 in Circuit Court.