Peru, IN – A traffic stop conducted by PPD Officer Shawn Swinford on Thursday, August 26, 2019, resulted in the arrest of two men on drug charges and a third on a Cass County Warrant.
According to a Peru Police probable cause affidavit, Officer Swinford was on patrol eastbound on 2nd Street from Miami Street when he observed a blue passenger car proceeding east on 2nd Street approaching the stoplight at Broadway. The vehicle became stationary at the light with no turn signal activated. When the light turned green, the vehicle then proceeded to turn left on to Broadway and then activated a left turn signal.
Officer Swinford followed the vehicle and conducted a traffic stop near the intersection of Broadway and 3rd Streets.
The driver was then identified as thirty-seven-year-old Seth Coffman of Kokomo, IN. Mr. Coffman was made aware of the reason for the stop. There were two other occupants of the vehicle. Twenty-eight-year-old Justin Hicks of Peru and a third subject whose name was redacted from the report by the Miami County Prosecutor’s Office.
While Officer Swinford was checked the driver’s license status of Mr. Coffman, PPD Sergeant Raber arrived on the scene with her K9 to conduct a free air sniff around the vehicle. K9 Fargo showed a change of behavior on the vehicle that indicated the possible presence of illegal drugs inside the vehicle.
Each occupant of the vehicle was then removed from the vehicle and searched. According to Swinford’s report, Mr. Coffman was “extremely nervous, and it was found that he is on probation for prior drug-related charges.”
A search of the vehicle was then conducted. Sergeant Raber located several THC filled vape canisters in the front passenger area of the vehicle. She also located a red cooler in the back seat area that contained a small plastic bag containing a green leafy plant-like substance, a wooden “dugout” containing a “one-hitter” smoking device and a small amount of a green leafy plant-like substance, two THC filled vape canisters and rolling papers.
Officer Swinford located a wallet in the front seat. Inside the wallet was a small plastic wrapper tucked inside a pocket. Inside that plastic wrapper, he located small stamp-like pieces of paper that appeared to be acid or LSD.
Mr. Coffman was read his Miranda warning. When asked about the stamps located in his wallet, he eventually admitted the stamps were “acid” and were his.
Mr. Hicks was also read his Miranda warning. He admitted that the items inside the red cooler were his. At one point he stated that he smokes marijuana on his breaks at work.
Both men were then placed in handcuffs and transported to the Miami County Jail. The third man whose name was redacted from the report was found to have a warrant out of Cass County. He was also transported to the Miami County Jail.
Seth Coffman, 37, of Kokomo, IN, faces a charge of Possession of Controlled Substance.
Justin Hicks, 28 of Peru, faces charges of Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Paraphernalia.
All criminal suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.