SOUTH BEND – 3 men are behind bars on 20 drug- and gun-related charges after leaving a South Bend liquor store and fleeing from police.
Around 10:45 p.m. Monday, Indiana State excise police tried to stop a car for a traffic violation after it left Discount Liquors in the 3200 block of W. Sample St. The driver of the car fled from officers, who saw items being thrown out of the windows.
The car eventually stopped in the 400 block of Dundee St. There, excise police found about 56 grams of cocaine, 52 grams of which were in 52 individually-packaged bags. Officers also seized a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun and ammunition and an undisclosed amount of cash.
Police say 23-year-old Justin Bowles of South Bend was driving the car. Bowles was arrested along with 25-year-old Gerard Newhouse and 23-year-old Ronnie Seward, Jr. of South Bend.
12 of the 20 preliminary charges are felonies.
Excise officers arrested 11 other people and ticketed one business while patrolling in South Bend Monday night as part of a law enforcement effort to promote public safety during Notre Dame’s football game against Alabama. Excise police arrested 4 people for furnishing alcohol to a minor, 2 for underage possession or consumption of alcohol and 3 people on a variety of other offenses.
Munchie Mart at 3529 W. Western was cited for selling single cigarettes.
“It is not uncommon for excise officers to discover other types of criminal activity while conducting their regulatory investigations,” Excise 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.”