By Mike Fletcher
Tribune crime reporter
A former Kokomo resident who heads a volunteer organization aimed at helping disaster victims pleaded guilty Friday in Jackson Circuit Court in southern Indiana to a misdemeanor drug charge and was sentenced to time served.
The case is one of three Gerald Scott Flint faced in the wake of a March 2012 tornado outbreak. The outbreak, which was the region’s deadliest in nearly 40 years, carved a path of destruction through Indiana and Kentucky killing at least 24 people and leveling several small towns.
Flint, a veteran of Desert Storm and head of Volunteer Medics Worldwide Organization, had been in Clark and Scott counties soliciting donations of disaster supplies such as food, water and other necessities for his organization when state police received a complaint about his actions.
State police originally charged Flint with two Class D felony counts of unlawful possession or use of a legend drug in Jackson County accusing Flint of providing and being in possession of antibiotic legend drugs.
“It probably wasn’t the best way of handling them, but there was no malicious intent and they were not for sale,” Flint said of the medication after his arrest. “They were meant for the pharmacy at the free clinic ... I felt giving it to a nurse I was doing the right thing.”
As part of a plea agreement, Flint pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of Class A misdemeanor. He was sentenced to serve two weeks in jail. He had credit for seven days already served. With credit for good behavior, Flint was released with time served, a Jackson Circuit Court reporter said.
The second charge was dismissed by the state.
Flint also is accused of theft for allegedly stealing supplies and impersonating a public servant in Scott and Clark counties. During the collection of the donations, state police claim Flint stole supplies and led people to believe he was working in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security.
The charges in Scott and Clark counties are pending. Flint has a June 4 trial in Scott County and July 11 trial in Clark County.
A message left on Flint’s cell phone was not immediately returned.
In a telephone interview with the Kokomo Tribune after his arrest last year, Flint said he was just trying to help people.
“We didn’t take anybody’s stuff,” said Flint, who now resides in Brazil, Ind.
Flint said he went to the area to give aid and direction in the aftermath of the tornadoes.
He admitted to picking up supplies and said he drove them to a collection center outside of the disaster area.
“We brought in two or three loads of cough drops, underwear,” he said, “things that people might need.”
From there, Flint claims they sorted out the supplies and were going to drive them to the needed areas.
But, according to state police, that never happened.
Mike Fletcher, Tribune crime reporter, may be reached at 765-454-8565 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition.