A traffic stop leads to the arrest of a felon in possession of a handgun

KNIGHTSTOWN – Monday morning troopers from the Indiana State Police Pendleton District made an arrest of a felon in unlawful possession of a firearm on Interstate 70 in Henry County.

At approximately 9:48 a.m., Trooper Ray Otter was patrolling near the 119-mile marker when he stopped a gray 2022 Chevrolet Equinox for 109 miles per hour.  The driver was identified as Martel Phillips, 24, of Cincinnati, Ohio.  Upon checking his driving record, it was determined Phillips was wanted out on a warrant on a charge of fraud out of Virginia. Phillips was also on supervised release for a previous handgun charge.  

After additional officers arrived to assist, an inventory of the vehicle revealed a fully loaded handgun in an open duffle bag located in the passenger seat.

Phillips was arrested and taken to the Henry County Jail on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon and reckless driving.

The Indiana State Police reminds residents/non-residents that even though Indiana is a permitless carry state, there are still laws in place that govern who can not possess a firearm:

  • A person convicted of a felony at the state or federal level.
  • A person with a pending felony case. 
  • A person who has fled a state to evade criminal charges or testify at a criminal trial.
  • Any person who is not lawfully present in the U.S.
  • A person who has been convicted of domestic violence, domestic battery, or criminal stalking. 
  • A person restrained by a protective order.
  • A person who has been found dangerous during a “red flag” gun removal proceeding, is adjudicated as a “mentally defective” under Indiana law or committed to a mental institution. 
  • A person who has been dishonorably discharged from military service or the National Guard. 
  • A person who renounces their U.S. citizenship.
  • A person who is under the age of 18.