Man arrested after swallowing meth during traffic stop

BEDFORD – A Bedford man was arrested on Wednesday after Indiana State troopers stopped the vehicle he was a passenger in. 

According to a probable cause affidavit, on Wednesday at 5:13 p.m. two ISP troopers were on duty in a marked police car and were traveling north on Washington Avenue, passing 24th Street when they noticed a white 2004 Hyundai Sonata traveling east on 24th Street at the intersection of Washington Avenue. 

The troopers were in the process of looking for a wanted man who they had information was in the area.

Officers were attempting to identify the people in the vehicle when it traveled away from them and turned south. It then quickly turned east onto 23rd Street almost as soon as the troopers pulled out to catch up to the vehicle. 

As the troopers turned east on 23rd Street, the driver of the Hyundai turned left into the parking lot of St. Vincent Dunn Hospital without using a turn signal. 

The troopers initiated a traffic stop.

The female driver told the troopers she didn’t have her driver’s license with her and that it might be inactive.

Elijah Wright

The male passenger was 38-year-old Elijah Wright. He told the troopers he didn’t have his identification with him. 

One of the troopers noticed Wright was “very nervous” and was avoiding eye contact. Wright was asked to step out of the vehicle and a trooper noticed he was “gripping something tightly in his hand”.

The trooper then asked to search his person and Wright denied that request. 

Wright got “a bit agitated and said he was just a passenger and had done nothing wrong”. 

A canine was requested to the scene. Canine Zazu alerted officers to possible drugs in the vehicle. 

While speaking again to Wright the trooper noticed he was “chewing on something”. Wright said he was chewing gum, but the trooper noticed it was plastic he was chewing on. 

The trooper asked Wright to show him what he was chewing on. Wright refused to spit out what was in his mouth, although the trooper gave numerous commands. The trooper then used a  “mandibular angle” pressure point technique that caused Wright to spit out a plastic bag.

Wright was detained after he tensed up, yelled and spit at the troopers.

The plastic bag that Wright was chewing on had broken open and most of the contents had been swallowed. The bag tested positive for meth. 

In Wright’s pocket officers found a syringe.

The female driver was released from the scene. 

No illegal substances were found in the vehicle. 

Wright was transported to a local hospital to be medically cleared and then transported to jail on charges of possession of meth, possession of a syringe, and obstruction of justice for attempting to conceal and swallow the meth.

If you know something, say something. Send an email to or call Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office tip line at 812-545-4700. All calls are confidential.