WARSAW — An Elkhart man was sentenced today, Nov. 21, for dealing meth and hitting an Indiana State Trooper’s Vehicle as an officer was trying to conduct a traffic stop.
Steven M Hemminger, 2412 Southdale Drive, Elkhart, was charged with count I dealing methamphetamine, a level 2 felony; count III resisting law enforcement, a level 4 felony; and count IV operating a vehicle as a habitual traffic violator, a level 6 felony. Count II possession of methamphetamine was dismissed per the plea agreement.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Oct. 9, 2015, arrangements were made to purchase one ounce of methamphetamine from Adrian Scott Hardesty at a cost of $1,400. The purchase was to occur at Stop and Go Gas Station in Milford.
The buyer met with Hardesty, Hemminger and Joseph Vaughn Humble in front of the business and completed the drug deal. The individuals left the business in the Cadillac.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, the meth had been placed in a trash can. Police found a clear plastic cellophane wrapper and a plastic bag, both containing a white crystal like substance. The substance tested positive for meth and weighed 34 grams.
Undercover officers followed the Cadillac northbound from Milford, at which time Indiana State Trooper Luke Waikel used his marked police vehicle to pull in front of the Cadillac and activate his emergency lights to conduct a traffic stop. ISP Trooper Tim Carpenter went behind the Cadillac in his marked police vehicle. According to the court document, the driver of the Cadillac started swerving left and right in the roadway, hitting one of the undercover officer’s vehicles on two occasions before pulling over and stopping.
Police identified Hemminger as the driver, Hardesty as a front seat passenger and Humble, a back seat passenger. A canine search of the vehicle’s exterior lead officers to a cigarette pack in the back seat containing marijuana and a loaded handgun magazine. Police also found $1,380 scattered along the roadway approximately 50 yards south of the vehicle.
During his sentencing, Hemminger stated, “My actions were wrong and I accept the responsibility.”
Hemminger was sentenced to three years at the Department of Indiana Correctional Facility for count I. He will receive one year in the Indiana Department of Correctional Facility for count III. For count IV, Hemminger will receive one year of probation. These terms are to be served consecutively. Hemminger will receive 26 days credit for time he has already served. He will have to pay $100 fine and a $200 drug interdiction fee. Hemminger will also have a lifetime driver’s license suspension.