Huntingburg men arrested on I-69 with guns, drugs


EVANSVILLE — Two Huntingburg men arrested last month after a local pursuit found themselves in custody again Sunday in Vanderburgh County accused of having stolen guns and marijuana in their vehicle.


An Indiana State Police trooper stopped a gold, southbound Chrysler passenger car driven by Ricardo Herrera Jr., 21, 413 N. Washington St., Huntingburg, at 9:55 a.m. CST Sunday on I-69 near the 20-mile marker in Vanderburgh County for allegedly speeding. Also in the vehicle was Adolfo E. Hernandez, 33, also of the Washington Street address.

The state police said a check determined neither man had a valid driver’s license.

Police alleged a search, conducted after a trooper’s K-9 alerted on the vehicle, discovered more than 30 grams of marijuana. The men were also in possession of firearms that included rifles and shotguns.

Three of those rifles had been reported as stolen, according to state police. Seven other rifles and shotguns were recovered but police do not yet know if any of those had been reported stolen.

Hernandez and Herrera were arrested and booked into the Vanderburgh County Jail on preliminary counts of theft as a Level 6 felony and marijuana possession as a misdemeanor.

On Monday, Jan. 16, 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 Spudz-N-Stuff landscaping at 1205 N. Main St.

Police said Herrera attempted to flee on foot but was quickly taken into custody. He was charged with a Level 5 felony count of criminal confinement, a Level 6 felony count of resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, plus misdemeanor counts of resisting law enforcement, reckless driving and driving without ever receiving a license.

The criminal confinement charges were related to the fact that there were three passengers in the SUV and one or more of them had wanted Herrera to stop during the pursuit, according to Assistant Chief Ronnie Bowman.

Hernandez, one of the passengers, had exited the vehicle and initially refused officers’ verbal commands, police said. Hernandez eventually complied with police and was found to be in possession of two glass smoking pipes, according to officers.

Hernandez was arrested and preliminarily charged with misdemeanor counts of resisting law enforcement and possession of paraphernalia.

The remaining passengers in the Dubois County incident complied with officers’ commands — the Dubois County Sheriff’s Department assisted — and were released after questioning.

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