Indiana State Excise Police officers arrested three South Bend men on 20 drug and gun related charges after they left a South Bend liquor store and fled from police Monday night.
The officers attempted to stop a Buick Century for a traffic violation after it left Discount Liquors on W. Sample Street. The vehicle fled from officers, who saw items being thrown out of the windows. The car eventually came to a stop in the 400 block of Dundee Street. Excise officers recovered approximately 56 grams of cocaine, 52 grams of which were in 52 individually packaged bags. They also seized a .40 caliber Taurus semi-automatic handgun and ammunition and an undisclosed amount of U.S. currency.
Driver Justin R. Bowles, 23, and passengers Gerard M. Newhouse, 25, and Ronnie E. Seward, Jr., 23, were arrested on a total of 20 preliminary charges, including 12 felonies.
Excise officers also arrested 11 other people and cited one business while patrolling in South Bend last night as part of a multi-agency effort by law enforcement to promote public safety during Notre Dame’s football game against Alabama.
“It is not uncommon for excise officers to discover other types of criminal activity while conducting their regulatory investigations,” Superintendent Matt Strittmatter said. “This case demonstrates the importance of the State Excise Police regulating the distribution of alcoholic beverages and how that role and working with local law enforcement agencies enhances public safety.”
As the enforcement division of the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, the primary mission of the Indiana State Excise Police is to promote public safety by enforcing Indiana’s Alcoholic Beverage Code. While excise officers have the authority to enforce any state law, they focus primarily on alcohol, tobacco and related laws.