POLICE: Man, woman face drug charges following traffic stop

HAMBLEN TWP. — A man and woman from Martinsville, 39-year-old Jessey Richardson and 26-year-old Miranda Cooper, face multiple charges for possession of illegal substances and paraphernalia following a traffic stop last month.

On Jan. 15, Brown County Sheriff’s Deputy Austin Schonfeld was field training Deputy Derek Frensemeier in a patrol vehicle on Sweetwater Trail.

According to the report, they observed a car traveling northbound with a smudged and dirty license plate. They determined it to be unreadable, so Frensemeier turned onto the road, caught up to the car, and initiated a traffic stop on South Peoga Road.

As the officers exited their patrol vehicle, Schonfeld observed that the license plate had expired in May 2022.

When the officers approached, Frensemier made contact with the driver. She reportedly had advised that she had just bought the vehicle, but she did not have proof of ownership because someone had broken into it and stole her purse.

The front passenger window was broken and covered with plastic, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Schonfeld reportedly noticed that the driver’s hand was shaking as she gave Frensemeier her registration.

He also observed that the backseat occupant was slouched and did not make eye contact.

Frensemeier retrieved information for all three occupants. The officers returned to the patrol vehicle and looked up the information and identified the two passengers as Cooper and Richardson.

Schonfeld the went back to the vehicle to check the VIN attached because the license plate did not match the vehicle.

He spoke more with the driver about the proof of ownership issue, and she said the same thing that she had told Frensemeier.

Schonfeld asked the driver to step out of the vehicle to continue the conversation, and due to the cold temperature outside, he had her sit in the front seat of the patrol vehicle. He stood outside and asked her more about the vehicle’s ownership.

According to the report, the driver said she had bought the car from someone on Facebook Marketplace in late December.

She said she made contact with the person she purchased it from regarding the stolen title after the car was broken into, but the seller was not the registered owner of the vehicle.

Indiana State Trooper Matthew Hatchett responded to the scene with his K9 upon Schonfeld’s request.

He then asked the driver where they were traveling from and she said they were picking up one of the passengers from a house down the road, but she did not know where the road was because she was not familiar with the area.

Schonfeld returned to the vehicle to get the driver’s phone so she could get information regarding the purchase of the vehicle. While there, he spoke with the two passengers.

Cooper was reportedly hesitant to make eye contact, and it was noted that she was “just staring” at the GPS app on her phone, not engaging with it in any way.

Richardson told Schonfeld that he was at a family member’s house on Three Notch Road and he had called the driver to come pick him up. The three were on their way from there to Martinsville.

Schonfeld returned with the phone to the driver and she found the registration information for the vehicle. The driver told Schonfeld that she did not have insurance on the vehicle.

Schonfeld asked her if there was anything illegal in the vehicle and she said no.

The driver also stated she was on probation through Morgan County for possession of methamphetamine. Schonfeld asked if the other occupants had anything illegal on their person and she said she did not know.

Frensemeier asked for consent to search the vehicle, which the driver gave, according to the report.

The officers then asked Cooper and Richardson to step out of the vehicle, and if anything in the vehicle belonged to them.

According to the report, Richardson said nothing belonged to him, and Cooper said some of the bags in the backseat were hers. She pointed them out and gave consent to search them.

While searching the vehicle, as Schonfeld pulled a duffle bag out of the backseat, a glass smoking pipe (which he believed to be used to ingest methamphetamine) fell on the ground.

Schonfeld advised the other officers on scene to detain the occupants. After they were detained, Schonfeld returned to the pipe and inspected it closer. Upon inspection, he noticed two crystals inside, which he believed to be methamphetamine.

According to the report, nothing else illegal was found inside the vehicle. Richardson advised that he would take the ownership of the pipe so the other two would not go to jail.

Schonfeld returned to the driver and searched her person. He did not find anything illegal. He then asked her to describe the events up until they were pulled over.

According to the report, the driver said she and Cooper were at a casino. While there, she got a call from Richardson and he asked her to pick him up from the house on Three Notch Road, because he had gotten his truck stuck while mudding there.

She also told Schonfeld that she did not know of anything illegal inside the vehicle.

While they were speaking, Richardson reportedly kept trying to get Schonfeld’s attention. According to the report, he later told Schonfeld that the driver was unaware that he had the pipe on him.

Cooper reportedly became “loud and irritated,” refusing to be searched by Frensemeier and demanding that a female officer search her. According to the affidavit, there was not a female officer available.

Schonfeld reportedly approached Cooper and gave her a disorderly conduct warning and she calmed down. Trooper Hatchett advised Schonfeld that he believed Cooper had something stashed on her person.

Cooper was reportedly cooperative until Frensemeier began to search her, according to the report.

The driver was given a citation for the license plate and released from the traffic stop. Cooper and Richardson were placed into patrol vehicles.

According to the affidavit, just before they were about to leave from the traffic stop, Cooper told an officer that she had illegal items on her person, specifically a pipe and methamphetamine.

They left the items where they were until they arrived at the Brown County Jail. When they arrived, Dispatcher Kyrie Kessler came to the book-in area to strip-search Cooper in the property room.

During the search, Cooper allegedly provided Kessler with a methamphetamine pipe and a plastic baggie containing two syringes, a white crystal-like substance believed to be methamphetamine and a credit card with white residue that had her name on it.

Cooper was then placed into a cell and Richardson was searched. He advised that he had something on him and did not want to pick up a trafficking charge. Richardson was strip-searched, and he provided a baggie containing a white, powdery substance.

When asked what the substance was, he initially said speed, then methamphetamine.

Cooper was booked into the jail on the following charges: possession of methamphetamine, a Level 6 felony; unlawful possession of a syringe, a Level 6 felony; and possession of paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor.

Richardson was booked into the jail on the following charges: possession of methamphetamine, a Level 6 felony and possession of paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor.

Charges were formally filed in the Brown County Prosecutor’s Office on Jan. 17.