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Pot suspect hides under cardboard box


An attempt to stop a vehicle that didn't have its lights on early Saturday turned into a vehicle chase and ended with canine tracking units Warsaw, the Kosciusko Count Sheriff's Department said in a written statement issued Tuesday.

It said a deputy attempted to stop a vehicle in the area of U.S. 30 and Parker Street when it took off south, ending up near the intersection of U.S. 30 and Old Road 30, where the vehicle accelerated and ended up in a grocery store parking lot.

The driver and passenger bailed and fled on foot. State, county and local officers searched the area with two canine units, locating the driver, Xavier Smith, 22, of Merrillville, near a mobile home park, the sheriff's department said.

It said the second suspect, Jonathan Terrel Willis, 23, of Gary, was found hiding under a cardboard box behind another store.

About .28 grams of marijuana, measuring scales and baggies were seized from the vehicle, police said.

Smith was preliminarily charged with felony possession and dealing marijuana, fleeing law enforcement and driving while suspended. Smith also had an outstanding warrant out of Lake County on a charge of receiving stolen property. Willis was preliminarily charged with felony possession of marijuana, dealing marijuana and fleeing law enforcement.

Each was being held on $2,000 bond in the Kosciusko County Jail.

The Warsaw Police Department, Winona Lake Police Department, Indiana State Police and the Kosciusko County Prosecutor's Office assisted in the arrests.