Deputy Shawn Castillo was reportedly on normal patrol Saturday at 12:13 a.m. and observed a vehicle driving without its headlights in the area of U.S. 30 and Parker Street. Deputy Castillo caught up with the vehicle near the intersection of U.S. 30 and Old Road 30 and initiated a traffic stop near the Marathon gas station.
After slowing, the suspect vehicle suddenly accelerated and fled on Commerce Drive into the parking lot at the Aldi’s Store where the driver and passenger exited and fled on foot.State, county and local officers arrived and began to search the area with two canine units that located the driver, Xavier Smith, 22, of Merrillville. Smith was taken into custody near a neighboring mobile home park.
Officers and a canine unit tracked the second suspect and located Jonathan Terrel Willis, 23, of Gary, hiding under a cardboard box behind the Big R store. Officers also located approximately .28 grams of marijuana, measuring scales and baggies inside the suspect’s vehicle as it was being impounded.
Smith was preliminarily charged with felony possession and dealing marijuana, fleeing law enforcement and driving while suspended. He was also found to have an outstanding warrant for his arrest through Lake County on the charge of receiving stolen property.
Willis was preliminarily charged with felony possession of marijuana, dealing marijuana, and fleeing law enforcement.
Both men are being held on $2,000 bonds in the Kosciusko County Jail.
The Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department was assisted by the Warsaw Police Department, Winona Lake Police Department, Indiana State Police and the Kosciusko County Prosecutor’s Office.