(BLOOMFIELD) - When an Indiana State Police trooper pulled an SUV over because it was going so slow that traffic was backing up behind it, he issued a warning to the driver.
Anna Rochelle, of the Greene County Daily World reports, police say both the driver and the passenger seemed extremely nervous, and he asked for consent to search the vehicle.
Both wound up in jail facing class A felony drug counts.
The traffic stop occurred on Thursday, Feb. 21 shortly after 4 p.m. at the intersection of State Roads 45 and 445.
The passenger, Tracey Lyn Sizemore, 51, Crane, was arrested on the scene.
The driver, Amanda Michelle Bland, 25, Bloomington, was not taken into custody on the scene but was arrested on Tuesday, Feb. 26 after a follow-up interview.
ISP Trooper Richard R. Klun was working traffic patrol when he came up on a line of about 10 cars behind the SUV. He said there were no weather or roadway conditions that would require driving at a slower speed for safety and the SUV failed to pull off to allow the blocked vehicles to pass even though there were multiple opportunities. The SUV was paced for a couple of miles traveling at 43 mph in a 50 mph zone.
After the vehicle was stopped, Sizemore said she owned the SUV. Bland admitted to driving slow, but she said Sizemore kept yelling at her to "slow down."
In a probable cause affidavit, Trooper Klun wrote that both women appeared to be extremely nervous and when speaking to Bland, she would look at Sizemore and make eye contact with her before answering a question.
Trooper Klun, assisted by ISP Sergeant Bradley Ayers, asked the women to step outside the vehicle. Sizemore signed a consent to search the vehicle and they were informed they were going to be patted down for officer safety. Sizemore consented but the officer thought she was concealing an item -- a female EMT arrived on the scene and allegedly found Sizemore was hiding a plastic bag containing a substance that later field-tested positive for methamphetamine. Klun said the quantity, approximately one-half ounce, was not consistent with personal use.
During a search of the vehicle, the officers reported finding items of paraphernalia and a few pills identified as controlled substances.
Before the stop was over, Sizemore allegedly became uncooperative and was placed on the ground. She then complained of pain to her left knee and was transported to Bloomington Hospital for a medical evaluation before she was transferred to the Greene County Jail.
Bland was released from the scene along with the vehicle.
According to the affidavit, during an interview on Tuesday, Bland admitted an item of paraphernalia belonged to her -- a glass smoking device that she used to ingest methamphetamine. She also allegedly told the officer she knew she was driving Sizemore around to different locations in order to pick up what she believed to be methamphetamine and marijuana and that she was aware Sizemore was re-selling what she'd purchased.
During an initial hearing in Greene Superior Court on Fri., Feb. 25, Sizemore was charged with: Dealing methamphetamine - possession with intent to distribute, a class A felony; two counts of possession of a controlled substance, both class D felonies; possession of paraphernalia, a class A misdemeanor; and resisting law enforcement, a class A misdemeanor. Sizemore is being held on a $75,000 bond with ten percent allowed.
Bland was being held without bond pending her initial hearing in Greene Superior Court, scheduled for Friday, when she will be charged with dealing in methamphetamine, a class A felony, and possession of methamphetamine, a class D felony. Bland was also issued a warning for a motor vehicle driven at a slow speed impeding or blocking traffic.
Have a question or comment about a news story? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org