A local man was arrested on felony drug charges early Wednesday, March 6, after the car he was driving was stopped for no taillights and excessively slow speed.

About 1:15 a.m. Indiana State Police Trooper Jacob Ridgway was driving east on Richmond Avenue in Richmond when he drove up on a car driving 15 miles per hour in the 30 mph zone with no working taillights, according to a news release from Indiana State Police.

After seeing the vehicle was unable to maintain its lane and turned south on Fifth Street without using a turn signal, Ridgway stopped the car around North Fifth and D streets, police said.

He made contact with the driver, Mashawnta Harris, 20, of the 9600 block of U.S. 27 N. in Richmond, and reported that the man seemed confused and showed other signs of being impaired.

Wayne County Deputy Aaron Crawford was nearby and came to assist Ridgway and ISP Trooper Matt Dickerson.

Further investigation by the officers located a digital scale inside the vehicle along with numerous prescription drug bottles containing pills not prescribed to Harris. Ridgway also determined Harris was operating his vehicle under the influence of marijuana and narcotic drugs, police said.

Harris was arrested and preliminarily charged with possessing and dealing a legend drug, dealing a controlled substance and maintaining a common nuisance, which are Level 6 felonies; and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, operating while intoxicated with a controlled substance and operating while intoxicated endangering. He was lodged in the Wayne County Jail, where he remained late Wednesday morning.

This month, ISP and other law enforcement agencies across the state are participating in the March Operation Pull Over Enforcement Campaign “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” aimed at dangerous and impaired driving.

ISP will be conducting random saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints throughout the state intended to make our roads safer. Motorists are encouraged to report suspected impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1. Give a vehicle description, location, and direction of travel. Never follow an impaired driver.

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