Traffic stop leads to drug, weapons arrest

Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Deputy Dustin Newland conducted a traffic stop in the area of 8th Street and Central Avenue around 12:09 a.m. Tuesday that led to a drug and weapons bust. 

The driver, identified as Jason Austin, 36, of Scipio, was found not to have a valid Indiana driver’s license. When Columbus Police Officer Branch Schrader arrived on scene to assist, CPD K-9 Argo alerted to narcotics inside the vehicle. 

In addition to illegal drugs and drug-related paraphernalia, a rifle and a handgun were also located inside the vehicle. 

Austin

Austin was taken to the Bartholomew County Jail on preliminary charges of: possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance, possession of a legend drug, possession of syringe or needle and driving while suspended with a prior conviction.

Austin remains in the Bartholomew County Jail, held Tuesday in lieu of $84,500 bond. 

Bartholomew County Sheriff Matthew A. Myers said: “we have received information that this particular vehicle may possibly have been involved in illegal activity in Bartholomew County in recent months”.

“This traffic stop, by Deputy Newland, with the help of Officer Schrader, is a big win in the continued war against illegal drugs”, added Sheriff Myers. 

Myers added: “this shows that ‘bad’ guys are going to carry weapons and assault rifles with or without a permit. … We must take a stronger stance – individuals carrying weapons without a permit – if convicted, need to be held to the highest degree possible”. 

Myers urged anyone with information about criminal activity to call the Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 812-379-1712. Callers may remain anonymous.