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[ISP] Off Duty Trooper Makes Three Arrests
Start Date: 2/2/2012
End Date: 2/2/2012
Entry Description

Jefferson County: On Wednesday, February 1 at approximately 11:20 a.m. Trooper Randel Miller, while off duty and in plain clothes, was at CVS Drug Store in Madison when he noticed a gentleman in a 1998 Ford Escort smoking a cigarette.  The man threw the cigarette butt out the window and Miller got on the PA in his police vehicle and told the man to pick it up.  The man ignored his request and drove out of the parking lot and started north on Craigmont St.  Tpr. Miller followed the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop.  The driver was later identified as 35-year-old John Taulbee of Madison who had a suspended drivers’ license.  A passenger in the vehicle, 46-year-old Byron N. Parker of Madison was found to be in possession of marijuana.  Taulbee was cited for the Driving While Suspended violation but Parker was placed under arrest for Possession of Marijuana-Under 30 grams (Class A Misdemeanor) and transported to the Jefferson County Jail by Officer Jeremy Cox of Madison P.D.

Later that afternoon at approximately 1:30 p.m., Tpr. Miller was still off duty and at the Dupont Baptist Church when he noticed a 1989 Oldsmobile drive through the alley and neither occupant in the vehicle was wearing a seat belt.  Tpr. Miller initiated a traffic stop and during his interaction with the occupants he noticed a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.  A subsequent search of the vehicle led to the discovery of marijuana and paraphernalia.  The driver, 36-year-old Larry Dale Covington of North Vernon and the passenger, 25-year-ld Erin Jane Boldery also of North Vernon were placed under arrest and charged with Possession of Marijuana-Under 30 grams and Possession of Paraphernalia (both Class A Misdemeanors).  The couple had their one-year-old child in the vehicle with them and the child was released to an aunt.  Both individuals could face an additional charge of Neglect of a Dependant.  Tpr. Miller was assisted with this incident by Corporal David Owsley of the Indiana State Police and Deputy Shane Gibson of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

Although Tpr. Miller was off duty and wearing plain clothes he was operating a marked state police vehicle and his actions were appropriate and in accordance with Indiana law. 

Indiana code 9-30-2-2 states: A law enforcement officer may not arrest or issue a traffic information and summons to a person for a violation of an Indiana law regulating the use and operation of a motor vehicle on an Indiana highway or an ordinance of a city or town regulating the use and operation of a motor vehicle on an Indiana highway unless at the time of the arrest the officer is:
(1) wearing a distinctive uniform and a badge of authority; or
(2) operating a motor vehicle that is clearly marked as a police vehicle;
that will clearly show the officer or the officer's vehicle to casual observations to be an officer or a police vehicle.

This section does not apply to an officer making a traffic arrest when there is a uniformed officer present at the time of the arrest.  In other words, an officer in an unmarked vehicle must be wearing a distinctive uniform and badge of authority or have another uniformed officer present in order to make a traffic stop and issue a traffic citation.  This law does not prohibit an officer in a fully marked police vehicle from making a traffic stop while in civilian attire.

Persons arrested are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Contact Information:
Name: Sergeant Noel Houze
Phone: (812) 689-8011
Email: nhouze@isp.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Alerts and Notification
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Law & Justice
  • Public Safety
  • Agency Name
    Police, Indiana State

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