MICHIGAN CITY | More than a hundred baggies of heroin were confiscated Friday during a traffic stop near Michigan City after a police dog alerted to the drugs in a man's shoe.
LaPorte County authorities said the two men arrested during the traffic stop were making almost daily trips from LaPorte to Chicago to buy large quantities of heroin.
Nicholas Albertson, 31, of LaPorte, and Brian Wilkinson, 33, of Rolling Prairie, were booked into the LaPorte County Jail on Class C felony charges of possession of a controlled substance.
Investigators said the men told officers they were only users, but authorities suspected the heroin was also being sold. They noted if the men were consuming that much heroin between trips, the amounts ingested would likely be lethal.
Authorities are looking at the potential of charging both men with dealing, an offense that could bring anywhere from a 20 to 50 year sentence.
"It's just another step to hopefully get this poison off of our streets," LaPorte County Sheriff's Chief of Detectives Pat Cicero said.
Officers, acting on a tip Friday night, positioned themselves in the area of U.S. 20 and U.S. 35, just east of Michigan City, and within an hour spotted the suspected red Buick Regal.
Authorities began following the car southbound on U.S. 35 toward LaPorte and, after Albertson switched lanes a few times without signaling, a traffic stop was initiated.
Hokie, a LaPorte County Sheriff's Department dog, detected the presence of drugs. Wilkinson was told remove the shoe from his left foot and inside his shoe were 108 plastic baggies of heroin.
Authorities said the total weight of the heroin was nearly 30 grams and was worth several thousand dollars.