An Indiana State trooper and a Crothersville police officer combined efforts Thursday, March 16, to stop a car reported to have been driving erratically on Interstate 65.
The ultimate result of their efforts was the arrest of three people, all from Kentucky.
Taken into custody were Lige Baker, 42, Hazard, Ky.; Brandy M. Carroll, 48, Viper, Ky.; and Sherry Gayle Fields, no age available, Combs, Ky.
According to the probable cause affidavit prepared by Indiana State Police (ISP) Trooper Tia Deaton, The trio was in a small white car being driven south on the interstate. A 9-1-1 call from a motorist near the 49 mile marker in Jackson County related that the car had nearly hit a guardrail twice and “…was all over the roadway.”
That information put Crothersville police on alert as well as Trp. Deaton, who was in her patrol car near the 36 mile marker. The officer works out of the Versailles ISP post. Crothersville Officer J.L. McElfresh advised he was near the on-ramp, waiting for the car to pass. When it did, he pulled in back of it. Trp. Deaton followed to observe the car, reporting that it made unsafe lane movements at the 33 and 32.5 mile markers, once nearly striking a semi-tractor-trailer.
She stopped the car near the 31.5 mile marker, with Officer McElfresh assisting.
None of the three were wearing seatbelts. Fields was behind the wheel. She failed field sobriety testing and fell asleep in the trooper’s patrol car.
Before she did, however, Fields allegedly offered information about both Baker and Carroll dealing drugs and that she and Baker had been involved in a case investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
By this time, K-9 Deputy James R. Ward had arrived to assist. After reading Baker his rights, Trp. Deaton said the man readily admitted to having Xanax pills stuffed in a sock. He also had $1,331 in cash, the officer noted. More information allegedly obtained from Carroll related that the trio had been to Illinois, where they had obtained the Xanax pills as well as Methadone. Fields had apparently taken Xanax. Officers eventually discovered she had $480 in cash.
Fields was transported to Scott Memorial Hospital for evaluation. The two men were taken to the Scott County Security Center in Scottsburg. Around 80 Methadone pills and a like number of Xanax were seized as were the money and the car.
All of the suspects were placed on a 72-hour hold. They each appeared before Scott Circuit Court Judge Jason Mount on Tuesday morning, March 21, for initial hearings.
Charges against Baker include Level 6 possession of a narcotic drug and misdemeanor counts of possession of a controlled substance and visiting a common nuisance. Fields was charged with Level 6 felony maintaining a common nuisance, and misdemeanor counts of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle with a controlled substance in the body. She was also charged with unsafe lane movement and not wearing a seatbelt, both infractions.
Carroll was charged with misdemeanor visiting a common nuisance.
Preliminary not guilty pleas were entered for all three, and Carroll has a bench trial set June 6. His bail was reduced from its original $5,000 by corporate surety bond or $500 cash to $3,000/$300.
Baker and Fields were each assigned an initial trial date of June 6 as well. Bail in both cases is $15,000 by surety bond or $1,500 cash. Both cases were assigned to public defenders. Fields’ driver license was automatically suspended.