Federal prisoner answering to local charges

By BILL POWELL
bpowell@dcherald.com

JASPER — The Dubois County Sheriff’s Department brought a former Huntingburg man from a federal prison in Memphis, Tennessee, back to Dubois County on Thursday to answer to local charges stemming from a Jan. 16, 2017, pursuit.

Herrera

Ricardo Herrera Jr., 23, former of 413 N. Washington St., Huntingburg, and now of Memphis, is alleged to have fled from police Monday, Jan. 16.

On that date, two Huntingburg Police Department officers were patrolling in the 1200 block of North Van Buren Street at 7:30 p.m. when they allegedly clocked a northbound Mitsubishi SUV traveling 64 mph in a 25 mph zone.

Police said the tan SUV failed to stop when the officers activated their emergency lights and sirens. It continued northbound on Van Buren Street at a high rate of speed and police began a pursuit that rolled onto County Road 400S and eventually led to WITZ Road and U.S. 231.

It was at that location in the Jasper Bottoms that Herrera, police said, lost control of the Mitsubishi, which spun 180 degrees.

Herrera then drove southbound on U.S. 231 back toward Huntingburg and was reported to have almost struck an Indiana State Police trooper’s vehicle as he was en route to assist.

Police said the SUV was all over the roadway and speeds reached as high as 100 mph.

A Huntingburg officer successfully deployed stop strips near U.S. 231 and Phoenix Drive, deflating three of the vehicle’s four tires.

Herrera still continued southbound on U.S. 231 at a high rate of speed until the SUV’s front right tire blew out, police said. He then lost control of the Mitsubishi and the vehicle crashed into the former Spudz-N-Stuff landscaping at 1205 N. Main St.

Police said Herrera attempted to flee on foot but was quickly taken into custody. Authorities said there were three passengers in the SUV and one or more of them had wanted Herrera to stop during the pursuit.

He was charged with a Level 5 felony count of criminal confinement, a Level 6 felony count of resisting law enforcement and misdemeanor counts of resisting law enforcement, reckless driving and operator never licensed.

The next month, while out on bond, the Dubois County charges took a back seat when Herrera was arrested in Vanderburgh County with stolen guns and marijuana in the vehicle he was driving in an incident that resulted in a federal indictment.

The Feb. 12, 2017 incident occurred on I-69 near the 20-mile marker in Vanderburgh County when an Indiana State Police trooper stopped a car driven by Herrera for speeding. Documents in U.S. District Court say there were 12 firearms located in the trunk and 11 of them had been stolen the previous night.

In a plea agreement entered in U. S. District Court in September, 2017, Herrera admitted he had arranged to sell multiple firearms and the I-69 traffic stop occurred while he was en route to the sale. The federal case also established that Herrera had been sought at the time on a warrant out of Florida, was prohibited from possessing firearms and, in a transaction monitored by law enforcement, had sold 83.8 grams of methamphetamine in December, 2016.

Herrera’s federal sentence runs until October, 2022.




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