SEYMOUR, Ind. — An Indiana State Police trooper used a cell phone call and an X-ray machine to thwart the alleged drug-dealing efforts of an Indianapolis man who police say swallowed seven balloons of heroin.
Trooper Randel Miller stopped Ubaldo Lopez-Gonzalez, 21, for a minor traffic violation just before 2 p.m. Wednesday as Lopez-Gonzalez exited Interstate 65 at Seymour.
Miller determined Lopez-Gonzalez had never been issued a driver's license and suspected he might be in the possession of drugs based on his unusual answers to casual questions and "numerous indicators of possible criminal activity," according to the state police.
A police dog from the Seymour Police Department sniffed around the vehicle and indicated there were drugs inside, but officers did not find any illegal substances.
Lopez-Gonzalez's cell phone rang repeatedly during the traffic stop, and Miller finally answered it with the intent on telling the caller to quit calling.
But as soon as he picked up the phone, the man on the other end referred to the trooper as "Angel" and asked if they would be meeting "in the same place," according to the state police.
Miller gave the caller an alternate meeting location suspecting that he and Lopez-Gonzalez were meeting for a drug deal.
Lopez-Gonzalez was turned over to another trooper, and Miller went to the alternate location. A taxi cab pulled up, but the man inside ran away after seeing Miller.
The man stopped running after Miller threatened to use his Taser to subdue him. The man told Miller he regularly purchased heroin from Lopez-Gonzalez, who would carry the heroin in his mouth — double bagged — and would swallow it if police attempted to intervene, according to the state police.
Miller confiscated more than $1,000 from the man as evidence and released him. His name was not released because he has not been arrested, but Miller plans to seek conspiracy charges against him.
The trooper obtained a search warrant to search Lopez-Gonzalez's body and took him to Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, where an X-ray revealed something "unusual" in his abdomen.
Lopez-Gonzalez was given laxatives at the hospital and passed the seven balloons containing brown powder heroin several hours later, the state police said.
He was booked into the Jackson County Jail on preliminary charges of dealing a Schedule I controlled substance, a Class B felony; possession of a Schedule I controlled substance, a Class C felony, obstruction of justice, a Class D felony and operating a vehicle while never licensed, a Class C misdemeanor.
The investigation also revealed that Lopez-Gonzalez was a Mexican national in the United States illegally, police said. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was notified and have placed a hold on Lopez-Gonzalez.
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