Pair arrested on drug-related charges

Columbus police arrested a driver and passenger on drug-related charges after a report of suspicious behavior inside a vehicle in the 200 block of North Gladstone Avenue.

Officers were sent to check out the vehicle at 6:35 p.m. Sunday and saw the driver, Kurt A. Whitchurch, 36, 4101 Waycross Drive, attempting to conceal an item between his seat and the vehicle’s center console, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

Officers told Whitchurch to get out the vehicle and located a bag containing a white substance which was later confirmed as methamphetamine, Harris said.

When passenger Cori L. Fortner, 30, 818 E. O&M Ave., got out of the vehicle, officers found a syringe in the front passenger seat where she had been seated, Harris said.

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Whitchurch is being held in the Bartholomew County Jail in lieu of $71,000 bond, jail officials said. Fortner is being held in the county jail in lieu of $15,000 bond, jail officials said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at or (812) 379-5631.