Traffic stop leads to arrest of two Columbus residents

A pair of Columbus men were arrested early Thursday morning on a number of drug charges after a traffic stop on US 31, just north of Columbus.

Indiana State Police (ISP) Spokesman Stephen Wheeles says that the investigation by Trooper Korry Clark began when he stopped a car

Vincent Eddelman; Photo courtesy of ISP
Vincent Eddelman; Photo courtesy of ISP

traveling north on US 31 near County Road 500 North at approximately 12:30 a.m. During the stop, Clark became suspicious of possible criminal activity. Moments later, Columbus Police Officer Branch Schrader arrived on the scene with his K-9. During a walk-around of the vehicle, Branch’s K-9 was allegedly alerted to the odor of illegal drugs coming from inside.

Wheeles says that a subsequent search of the vehicle led to the discovery of heroin, hydrocodone, and drug paraphernalia. He says that the passenger, 26-year-old Vincent D. Eddelman, was arrested on one count of visiting a common nuisance. Wheeles says that the driver, 24-year-old Branden L. Smith, was taken to Columbus Regional Hospital for a blood test to determine if he was intoxicated. Smith was then taken to the

Branden Smith; Photo courtesy of ISP
Branden Smith; Photo courtesy of ISP

Bartholomew County Jail, where authorities allege that he was found to be in possession of an additional bag of heroin that weighed approximately three grams.

Smith was charged with:

Dealing Heroin – Level 4 Felony;
Trafficking with an Inmate – Level 5 Felony;
Possession of Heroin – Level 6 Felony;
Possession of Controlled Substance – Level 6 Felony;
Operating While Intoxicated – Class A Misdemeanor;
Operating Under Influence of Controlled Substance – Class C Misdemeanor; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – Class C Misdemeanor

State Police are thanking Officer Schrader, ISP Trooper Jacob Tolle and Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Deputy Leah Burton for their help in this case.