Sheriff’s Office Find Illegal Substances after Chase

Huntingburg- A Huntingburg man is looking at several felony charges after trying to evade police Monday morning.

In a release, officials with the Dubois County Sheriff’s Office say Deputy Craig Schneider attempted to pull over a blue pickup truck just south of Huntingburg. Schneider says the truck crossed the center line several times, thus initiating the stop. The driver of the truck, later identified as 31-year-old Leonel Hernandez of Huntingburg, did not stop when Deputy Schneider attempted the stop and continued on Old State Road 64 at a slow rate of speed. 

Deputies Case Cummings and Trevor Weisman joined the pursuit, during which Hernandez accelerated to a high rate of speed according to officials. Deputy Kyle Eckert was in the northbound lane near the intersection of State Road 161, deploying stop sticks on the vehicle. As Hernandez approached where the sticks were to be placed, reports say he changed direction towards Deputy Eckert. Eckert managed to avoid being hit and joined Deputies Schneider, Cummings, and Weisman in pursuit. 

Eventually, Hernandez turned south onto County Road 750 West and shut off his running lights. The four deputies ordered the female passenger, who immediately got out of the vehicle, on the ground and detained her. Hernandez was ordered out of the vehicle, was detained, and searched. During the search, a small glass jar with a white crystal substance was found in his front left pocket. The female passenger was released from the scene while Hernandez was taken into custody. 

A probable cause search was done on the vehicle and deputies located a treasure box that had a green, leafy substance; two glass containers like the one on Hernandez and a digital scale with white powder residue. Hernandez told officers he had smoked meth out of a pipe at a restaurant in Huntingburg prior to driving. He also said the reason for the slow speed was to find a plastic baggie with more crystal substance inside and toss it prior to the encounter. 

A search warrant was granted for both Hernandez’s residence and the restaurant he claims to have smoked at. At the residence, officers located a syringe with a large amount of an unidentified white powder. During the restaurant search, officers located a glass smoking pipe containing burnt white residue and a white powdery substance that field tested for methamphetamine. 

In total, officers located

  • 47.1 grams of the white powdery substance
  • 3.5 grams of the white crystal substance in the jars\
  • .4 grams of the green, leafy substance in the truck

Leonel Hernandez is facing several charges, including:

  • Level 2 Felony Dealing in Methamphetamine
  • Level 3 Felony Possession of Methamphetamine
  • Level 4 Felony Dealing in Methamphetamine
  • Level 5 Felony Attempted Battery on Law Enforcement, with a deadly weapon
  • Level 6 Felony Habitual Traffic Offender
  • Level 6 Felony Resisting Law enforcement with a motor vehicle
  • Level 6 Felony Maintaining a Common Nuisance 
  • Level 6 Felony Criminal Recklessness
  • Level 6 Felony Unlawful Possession of a Syringe
  • Level 6 Felony Obstruction of Justice
  • Class A Misdemeanor Possession of Paraphernalia 
  • Class B Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana

Items Located during traffic stop and searches of Restaurant and Hernandez Residence. Photo Credit: Dubois County Sheriff's Office.