Extra patrol leads to pursuit, crash and arrest on drug charges

Dubois County deputies arrested a Birdseye resident after a pursuit ended in a crash Thursday morning.

Due to several complaints of illegal drug activity, thefts, burglaries and driving violations in that part of the county, deputies have increased patrols in the area.

While patrolling there this morning, a deputy noticed an older model Chevrolet pickup traveling south on State Road 145 inside Birdseye town limits at about 9:34 a.m. The deputy attempted to pull behind the truck to run a routine registration check and the driver allegedly drove away at a high rate of speed. The deputy activated his emergency lights and sirens to attempt a traffic stop but the vehicle continued to flee, according to police.

It continued south on State Road 145 at speeds estimated to be between 80 and 90 mile per hour, police said. The driver, identified as Tristan Harlan, 18, of Birdseye, lost control of the truck south of the Birdseye Loop Road and went off the west side of the road into a ditch. The truck then rolled several times before coming to rest partially on the roadway facing west.

Police said the driver exited the 1990 Chevrolet K1500 on his own and refused to comply to the deputy’s commands. When two other officers arrived at the scene, the officers took Harlan into custody. While patting him down, deputies located a plastic baggie containing a substance determined to be methamphetamine in Harlan’s front coat pocket.

Harlan sustained a laceration to his head and was transported to Memorial Hospital for treatment of his injuries. Charges were presented to the Dubois County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and Harlan will be brought to court at a later date.

According to police, Harlan admitted to never being licensed.

Police determined the registration on the vehicle was false and the vehicle was not insured. A metal smoking pipe was also located near the vehicle.

Harlan was charged with resisting law enforcement with a vehicle, resisting law enforcement, possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia, driver never licensed, false or fictitious registration and no insurance.

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