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“Activist’s” wife arrested with 36 lbs of meth

Tallisha Malone (Washington) — Mugshot: St. Joseph County Jail

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — REAL News Michiana has discovered court documents showing a local activist’s wife was arrested for transporting 36-pounds of meth (street value of more than $1.3 million) from Los Angeles, California, on her way South Bend. Tallisha Malone, 42, was picked up by police during a traffic stop in Missouri. Tallisha Malone was married to Vernado Malone at the time of the arrest and has been active in helping promote his non-profit, Justice for Michiana (formerly Justice for South Bend).

The arrest of Tallisha Malone happened in June of 2019, during the same time Vernado Malone was getting his non-profit off of the ground. At the time, Malone, a federally convicted felon himself, was being upheld by local and national media as a social justice activist following the justified police action killing of Eric Logan, a black man and criminal who charged at an officer with a knife. The shooting received national attention at the time due to former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign.

Tallisha Malone took a plea bargain and was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison for the crime. Tallisha and Vernado Malone were divorced while she was serving time in federal prison. While the federal criminal complaint and the plea agreement were publicly available, much of the case is still sealed, indicating Tallisha Malone potentially gave federal agents and prosecutors information on others involved in the case or information in other cases. Subscribers can view those documents below.

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RNM discovered the meth arrest through another recent arrest of Tallisha Malone. On December 29th, Mishawaka Police arrested her on theft charges. However, jail logs show she is not being released due to a federal hold. Federal court documents show she is being charged with violating her federal probation. According to state charging documents, Tallisha was caught shoplifting at Target in Mishawaka.


In March of 2021, REAL News Michiana uncovered a disturbing scheme by Vernado Malone, who has admitted to taking nude pictures of the recently deceased and showing them around. Malone claimed to be helping the families of homicide victims through his non-profit by assisting with funeral arrangements, fundraising and obtaining caskets and flowers. RNM confirmed Malone was using his position to take photos that include the genitalia of those deceased victims. Since publication, the Indiana Attorney General opened an investigation and several families filed lawsuits against Malone and Alford’s Mortuary (who was working with Malone). Alford’s has since settled the case. However, the lawsuit is still active against Malone himself.

Tallisha Malone (maiden name Washington) was an integral part of Vernado’s scheme. She assisted in advertising his services and assisted in finding Vernado Malone clients. Her Facebook page still has a flyer as a main photo, advertising Malone’s scam.

Tallisha Malone is also affiliated with another local “activist,” Aisha Avance. Avance, who was a partner with Vernado Malone and his organization, also started her own organization called “Choices for Life.” Both Vernado Malone and Aisha Avance received taxpayer grants from the City of South Bend to fund their programs. However, Avance and the City of South Bend are currently being sued for fraud regarding her grant application in which it appears they changed the name on the grant in order to give Avance the grant money. Pictures posted to Tallisha Malone’s social media account show Avance and Vernado Malone well after Tallisha’s meth arrest and well into their non-profit ventures.


In 1999, Vernado Malone was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for credit card fraud. He was ordered to pay more than $17,000 in restitution.

In 2005, Vernado Malone was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison for Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and Aiding and Abetting Forfeiture Allegation. He was ordered to pay $120,000 in restitution.

In 2015, Vernado Malone was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for Mail Fraud and Aggravated Identity Theft. He was ordered to pay more than $50,000 in restitution.

There are also several state level charges and convictions. However, according to court documents filed with St. Joseph and LaPorte Counties, Malone is trying to expunge records in three different Indiana counties. He is attempting to get the following convictions removed from his record: Conversion, Robbery. He is also trying to get the follow arrests expunged: Child Molestation, Domestic Battery, Invasion of Privacy, Battery, Check Deception, Criminal Conversion.

Malone is also currently facing charges for violating a protective order.

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