Traffic stop nets $40,000 in heroin; 3 arrested

Three people traveling Sunday morning on Interstate 65 near Jonesville wound up in the Jackson County Jail after police reported finding 332 grams of heroin with a street value of $40,000 in their vehicle.

Police arrested the driver of the 2013 Chevrolet, Shawnee Gentry, 32, of Chicago, and two passengers, Shannon Straughter, 33, of Chicago, and Steven Woolridge 37, of Richmond, Kentucky, after a traffic stop, according to a news release from the Indiana State Police.

All three face Level 2 felony charges of dealing in heroin and Level 3 felony charges of possession of heroin. Straughter also faces a Level 6 felony charge of identity theft.

Story continues below gallery

The events that led to the trio’s arrests began around 9 a.m. Sunday when Trooper Stephen Wheeles reported a vehicle traveling above the posted 70 mph speed limit south on I-65 near the 55-mile marker, according to the news release.

Wheeles said he pulled the vehicle over and found Gentry, Straughter and Gentry inside.

While speaking with Gentry, Wheeles said, he noticed some criminal indicators of drugs in the vehicle, so he used his K-9 partner, Kane, to conduct a sweep around the vehicle.

Kane alerted to drugs, which led to a search of the vehicle by officers, Wheeles said.

Police found the 332 grams, or 12 ounces, of heroin in the passenger compartment of the vehicle during that search.

Straughter faces the identity theft charge he claimed to be someone else when police asked for identification, police said. It wasn’t until he was at the jail that police figured out his real identity.

The three were arrested and taken to the jail in Brownstown, where they are being held without bond.

Wheeles was assisted by State Police Sgt. Brian Wilson.