COOLSPRING TWP. – Two Michigan City women, one with an outstanding arrest warrant and another free on bond, are facing felony drug charges after methamphetamine was found in their car during a traffic stop, according to police.
Sandy Lynn Taylor, 39, is being held in the La Porte County Jail on a Level 6 felony charge of possession of meth, according to the La Porte County Sheriff's Department. When arrested, she was free on bond from an April arrest, also on drug charges, according to court records.
And 40-year-old Melissa Ann Wingard is being held on a Level 4 felony possession of meth charge, according to the sheriff's department. At the time of her arrest, she was wanted on a La Porte County warrant for misdemeanor battery causing bodily injury, according to court records.
About 7:20 p.m. Friday, a sheriff's deputy was parked on the south side of Johnson Road near CR-500W when a silver Honda Civic drove by and the deputy noticed a "missing, altered, or leaking muffler" that was "making a loud, obnoxious sound," according to a police report.
He ran the plate and found that Wingard, the car's owner, was wanted on the warrant, so he followed the car and made a traffic stop at CR-400N and Johnson Road, according to the report.
Wingard, who was driving, was handcuffed while the officer spoke with Taylor, who was "visibly shaking and could not sit still," the report said, though she told the officer she was "upset because of a family situation."
Asked if there were drugs in the car, she said she did not have any on her and was uncertain if there were any in the car, the report said. She was then told to call someone for a ride.
Wingard was read her rights, but agreed to speak to the officer, saying she had nothing illegal in the car, the report said. She consented to a search of the car, saying she would "prefer the officer not search" but giving him permission if he "wanted to."
A Trail Creek officer arrived on scene and stood by as the deputy looked into the car and found a cooler on the floor in the front passenger seat that had been next to Taylor's feet, the report said.
Inside was a scale and a small black bag with two clear plastic bags containing a substance which appeared to be crystal meth, the report said. Wingard said the cooler belonged to Taylor, while Taylor said it was in the car when she got in.
At that point, Taylor was also cuffed, though continued to plead her innocence, the report said. She told the officer to search Wingard's purse, which would prove the meth was not hers.
A search of the purse turned up a torn liner, and between the liner and shell was another clear bag containing a crystal substance, the report said.
All three bags later tested positive for meth, according to police, who said the combined weight of all three bags was 17.2 grams.
Wingard is being held on a $20,000 cash bond, and is scheduled to appear in Superior Court 4 on Aug. 12 on the battery charge, according to the sheriff's department. She was scheduled to appear in Circuit Court on Wednesday on the possession charge.
Taylor is being held on a $755 cash bond and is scheduled to appear in Circuit Court on July 31, according to the sheriff's department. A final pretrial conference on the previous felony charges – dealing in meth and possession of cocaine – is scheduled for Oct. 31 in Superior Court 1.