crime & courts

Police arrest out-of-towners on unrelated drug charges

Police responses to a Motel 6 on Monday and a tanning salon Tuesday resulted in two unrelated drug arrests.

Brandon Phillips, 48, of Columbus, Indiana, was charged with felonies for possession of methamphetamine, possession of legend drugs and maintaining a common nuisance, as well as a misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officers investigating suspicious activity early Tuesday morning near the Motel 6 at 1800 N. Walnut Ave. noticed several people going to and coming from a single room, Bloomington Police Captain Steve Kellams said. As the officers spoke to people outside the room, the room’s door continued to open and close, allowing them to see inside. They could see paraphernalia and a firearm inside the room.

Also inside the room was Phillips. Officers made contact with him and found a smoking device, two grams of crystal meth and a total of 120 pills – 117 of cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxer, and three of Lyrica, which is used to treat epilepsy. Both require a prescription, leading to the legend drugs charge.

He was arrested at 1:15 a.m. and taken to Monroe County Correctional Center.

Jacob Pierce, 24, of Bedford, Indiana, is charged with misdemeanors for possession of paraphernalia, marijuana and a controlled substance. He also was arrested on a warrant for parole violation.

Officers responded at 2:35 p.m. Monday to A Total Tan on West Third Street after a caller complained of a man refusing to come out of the bathroom and possibly having drugs, Kellams said. Upon responding, officers looked through the crack between the door and the floor and could tell someone was lying on the bathroom floor.

The officers forced their way into the bathroom, at which point the man, Pierce, came to. The officers found a syringe, a wrapper on the floor consistent with heroin and some marijuana. The parole violation warrant stems from 2014 felony drunken driving charges.

Pierce was taken to IU Health Bloomington Hospital for medical precautions, then to the MCCC.

Though he didn’t receive a charge for it, Kellams said Pierce may also be connected to a nearby overdose called in about a half-hour before the Total Tan call. Police responded at 2:05 p.m. to a call about a man unresponsive in a vehicle in front of Planet Fitness on West 3rd Street.

A man at the scene when police arrived told police he’d been walking out of the gym when he heard someone yell that a man was dying, at which point he rushed over and attempted CPR on the man, Kellams said. During the CPR, another man walked over and pulled a package out of the overdosing man’s pocket.

The description of that man — white, 20s, wearing a brown jacket — matched that of Pierce, Kellams said. A Total Tan and Planet Fitness are located 0.2 miles apart.

The man who overdosed was taken to the hospital, where he would only tell police he overdosed on heroin.

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