Members of the Brazil City Police Department were the first to initiate an unusual traffic stop.
Shortly after 11 p.m., Patrolman Jeremy Mace, with assistance from Patrolman Todd Stemm, stopped a vehicle driven by Justin R. Sims, 20, Greencastle, near the intersection of National Avenue and Hoosier Street. Mace reported seeing Sims throw a lit cigarette from his vehicle, which officials confirm is a violation of Indiana law.
During questioning, Mace discovered Sims and an unidentified passenger in the vehicle both had their drivers licenses previously suspended. Because neither person was able to drive, officials reported the vehicle had to be impounded.
According to information provided by the BCPD, as one officer was preparing the paperwork to cite Sims for two traffic infractions, the other officer began to process the contents of the vehicle before it was impounded. An undisclosed amount of marijuana was discovered in a jacket allegedly belonging to Sims.
Sims, who was initially going to be released by officers with a summons to appear in court for the two infractions, was taken into custody and booked into the Clay County Justice Center on a preliminary D felony charge of possession of marijuana.
Jail officials confirmed Sims remains incarcerated on a $5,000 cash bond (no 10 percent allowed) awaiting formal arraignment per the court calendar.
Sgt. Dennis Archer confirmed the passenger was let go.
Patrol Sgt./K-9 Handler Josh Clarke and Reserve Deputy Nick Workman were traveling east on United States 40 near County Road 500 West when they spotted the vehicles. Clarke reported seeing the two vehicles in the back of the line allegedly driving erratically, following too closely and swerving all over the roadway.
When initiating his cruiser's lights, Clarke said the two vehicles did not stop and turned north on Private Road 400 West.
"They both stopped a short distance later," Clarke said, adding the two drivers admitted they were coming home from celebrating St. Patrick's Day at a tavern.
During the investigation, the officers requested Cindy Huntsman-Blackwell, 52, Bryan, Texas, and Michael R. Lowry, 37, Brazil, participate in alcohol/chemical testing. Lowry cooperated fully and submitted to testing at St. Vincent Clay Hospital, but the results are not available due to the ongoing investigation.
However, Clarke reported that Huntsman-Blackwell allegedly refused to cooperate with any requests made by the officers.
Both suspects were detained without further incident and transported to the Clay County Justice Center were they were initially booked on preliminary charges of resisting law enforcement and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
After officers allegedly discovered a handgun, narcotics and paraphernalia during the investigation, additional charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana (under 30 grams) were added to Lowry's preliminary charges.
Bonding out Wednesday, Lowry is awaiting formal arraignment per the court calendar.
Jail officials confirmed that Huntsman-Blackwell remains incarcerated on a $7,000 cash bond (no 10 percent allowed) awaiting formal arraignment per the court calendar.