NEW CASTLE, Ind. – A woman was charged with drug dealing after reportedly bribing an officer to avoid arrest.

Court documents detailed the encounter with police on Oct. 3. Police said they were called to the area of North 31st Street and Poplar for a woman who was sitting at an intersection for about 15 minutes.

New Castle police said they saw the woman, later identified as 40-year-old Shonda Renee West standing outside her vehicle that was parked on the wrong side of the roadway.

Shonda West booking photo

Officers noticed that West’s license was suspended with a reinstatement date of 2024. During a search of her purse, police also found a green straw with white residue on it.

The powder tested positive for cocaine.

The sergeant on scene conducted a search of West’s car and found several pills. They were identified as 50mg of Tramadol.

After officers told her she would be charged with possession of a Schedule 4 substance, West began to cry. She told police that she was currently fighting a prior possession charge and that she would give officers the $500 in her purse if he didn’t pursue charges.

Police said they warned West to not attempt to bribe officers again.

After being medically cleared, West was arrested and taken to the Henry County Jail.

The probable cause state police additionally located $92, over 90 various pills all identified as Tramadol in West’s purse.

West was charged with dealing cocaine, Level 3 Felony; dealing a Schedule IV substance, Level 3 Felony; bribery, Level 5 Felony; driving while suspended with a known violation and prior conviction, Class A Misdemeanor; and possession of paraphernalia, Class C Misdemeanor.

The Henry County Prosecutor’s office also filed a habitual offender enhancement due to West’s prior convictions on Oct. 4.

An initial hearing has not been set for this case. West has a jury trial scheduled in a separate drug possession case for Dec. 18 at 8:30 a.m.