BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Dec. 21, 2015) -- Indiana State Police troopers caught three people on a new stretch of I-69 and arrested them for trafficking drugs, saying it is likely more common now that the road is open.
The I-69 corridor, which opened on December 9, provided the final connection between Bloomington and Evansville.
On Friday, a State Police trooper pulled over Kelli Steiner, Brian Steiner and Joshua Burgess as they got to the end of the corridor and began to merge onto State Road 37. The trooper, suspecting something was not right, called in a fellow trooper with a K9 officer. The pair found 25 pounds of marijuana, $17,000 in cash and a loaded gun in the car.
All three suspects were arrested and charged with dealing in marijuana, maintaining/visiting a common nuisance and marijuana possession.
"The team down there, they’re hitting I-69 very aggressively," State Police Sgt. Rich Myers said.
In fact, the troopers were part of a special detail called Bloomington ACES, or Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Section, tasked with looking for drug trafficking on Indiana roads.
Myers said that the new I-69 stretch is being monitored more closely because it provides a new and popular route from southern Indiana.
"It’s going to make travel a lot faster. It also makes trafficking in drugs a lot easier," Myers said.
K.M. Taylor, who travels in the area for work, said he has noticed more officers on the new road.
"There’s been a few of them that have been ... parked in the middle (of I-69)," Taylor said.
He said that if it means they're keeping people safe, he doesn't mind seeing them at all.
"I’m good with them being out," Taylor said.
Myers said that the patrols will continue, with troopers out across Indiana for the holiday season, looking for anyone breaking the law.
"I think you will see more arrests coming out this way and would like to have the public know that we’re out there aggressively looking for this," Myers said.