Jail drug deal yields 20-year sentence for Indy woman

An Indianapolis woman was sentenced to 20 years in prison for her role in orchestrating a 2020 drug deal with inmates at the Johnson County jail.

April R. Blythe, 36, pleaded guilty in Johnson County Superior Court 2 on May 18 to dealing in methamphetamine, a Level 2 felony, and carrying a handgun with a prior felony conviction, a Level 5 felony. April Blythe was sentenced to 20 years in prison, with the term being served consecutively to sentences rendered in two separate Marion County cases, where she was sentenced to 10 years and 13 years in prison in each case respectively, according to court online court records.

Eight years of April Blythe’s Johnson County sentence will be suspended to probation. She also received a jail credit of 12.8 years and will be eligible for release in February 2034, online records show.

April Blythe, along with another woman, Sherry Riddle, 33 of Franklin, were charged in April 2020 following an investigation into recorded calls that took place at the jail between April Blythe and her brother, Ricky Blythe, who was incarcerated at the jail for violating probation. Narcotics detectives with the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, Franklin Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) were notified in April 2020 of several calls that took place between the Blythe’s where they had discussed dealing meth and heroin, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Both were informed the calls were recorded, but April Blythe would “blatantly brag” about how she took over dealing meth for her brother, waving cash in front of a camera to show him, according to the affidavit.

A series of recorded calls from April 24-25, 2020 indicated that Sherry Riddle was instructed to pick up meth from April Blythe in Franklin. The calls also showed that Ricky Blythe and Michael Riddle, who was also incarcerated at the jail and is the husband of Sherry Riddle, had orchestrated the transaction, the affidavit said.

Michael Riddle was incarcerated at the jail while awaiting trial for dealing meth, a Level 2 felony, and two gun-related charges, online court records show.

Franklin police stopped April Blythe’s car and searched it on April 24, finding just under a pound of meth and a firearm. The next day, police served a search warrant at a home in Franklin where they seized the 1/2 ounce of meth April Blythe sold Sherry Riddle and additional meth in a gum container in her purse, the affidavit said.

During an interview conducted later, April Blythe indicated her brother and Michael Riddle as the arrangers of the drug deal. Michael Riddle later told detectives Ricky Blythe was the “mastermind” and said the eventual goal was to sell the drugs to someone in Columbus the funds of which would be used to pay his bond for him to get released from jail, according to the affidavit.

Sherry Riddle pleaded guilty to a single charge of dealing meth, a Level 4 felony, in December 2020. She was sentenced to six years in prison, with four years of the sentence being executed, and the remaining two years suspended to probation. The sentence is being served consecutively to a 420-day jail term she received in a separate Johnson County drug case, according to online court records.

She is eligible for release in July 2023, online records show.

Michael Riddle was charged in April 2020 with dealing meth, a Level 2 felony. He plead guilty to the charge and was sentenced in absentia in September 2020 after failing to appear for his sentencing hearing to 22 years in prison. The sentence was ordered to be served consecutively to a 17.5-year sentence he received in another Johnson County drug case.

A warrant for Michael Riddle’s arrest was issued in September 2020, and he was taken into custody in October 2020. He is eligible for release in December 2049, online records show.

Ricky Blythe was also charged in April 2020 with dealing meth, a Level 2 felony. A warrant was issued for his arrest in February 2021 after he failed to show up for court. The warrant remains outstanding, according to online court records.