An investigation into a network hack at Global Foods led to a Clinton couple being arrested for drug charges - including maintaining a drug premises within 1,000 feet of a school - per a Clinton Police Department report filed Tuesday, April 18.


Per the report, a manager with Global Foods asked for a police investigator to attend an interview April 12 he was about to have with an employee he suspected of theft. Chief John Willoughby responded to the request. In the course of the interview the employee, Steven Sparr, 43, said he was permitted to take products from the business. The manager did not agree and Sparr’s employment was terminated. Willoughby escorted him from the business, taking with him his laptop computer, Sparr’s property, which he also used to do work from home, per the report.


The next day, Wednesday April 13, police were called, being told that “someone had hacked into Global Foods computer system at around 3:30 a.m. and deleted several programs, shutting the plant down,” the report stated. Willoughby stated in the report he was told the shutdown was costing Global about $50,000 per day.


An investigation into the hack using addressing protocol revealed it had come from Sparr’s laptop computer. Willoughby used this to gain a search warrant for Sparr’s home, an apartment on Fraser Street, near the school.


Officers reported finding drug paraphernalia in the apartment, visible as soon as they entered. Included in what was found were used syringes and pipes, used for injecting or smoking methamphetamine. Also found either on or near the devices was methamphetamine residue. Officers searching the apartment also found clusters of clear plastic bags as would be used for reselling drugs such as methamphetamine.


As this was being investigated a woman identified as Sparr’s girlfriend, Tracy Light, 40, arrived at the apartment’s back door. Willoughby reported she was carrying a large purse and he searched it, as she said there was a knife in it. During the search of the purse an eyeglass case was found, in it a small pipe as would be used for smoking methamphetamine. Also in the bag was what was described in the report as a “ring case,” which held approximately 3.5 grams of methamphetamine.


Both Light and Sparr admitted to police they had put drugs in the purse in order to keep police from finding it. Both were taken to Van Buren County Detention Center where they were held on $25,000 bond each. Sparr shows, per the Van Buren County jail’s inmate roster, to have been released Monday, April 17. Light shows to still be in jail.


Both were charged with Possession of Methamphetamine, a Class C felony, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, a Class D felony, and maintaining a drug premises within 1,000 feet of a school, a Class B felony. Charges are still pending against Sparr for the computer hacking, a Class C felony, the report concluded.