Three South Bend men are behind bars on 20 drug and gun related charges after they left a liquor store and fled from police.
Around 10:45 p.m. Monday, Indiana State Excise Police officers tried to stop a Buick Century for a traffic violation after it left Discount Liquors in the 3200 block of W. Sample St. However, the Buick fled as its occupants began throwing items out windows.
When the car eventually came to a stop in the 400 block of Dundee St., police confiscated 56 grams of cocaine, 52 grams of which were individually packaged. They also found a .40 caliber Taurus semi-automatic handgun, ammunition and cash.
Police arrested Justin Bowles, 23, and his passengers Gerard Newhouse, 25, and Ronnie Seward Jr., 23, all of South Bend. The trio was taken in on a total of 20 preliminary charges, including 12 felonies for possession of cocaine, dealing a controlled substance and resisting law enforcement.
Excise police also arrested 11 other people and cited one business while patrolling in South Bend during the Notre Dame - Alabama game. Officers arrested four people for furnishing alcohol to a minor, two for underage possession of alcohol and three people on a variety of other offenses. Munchie Mart in the 3500 block W. Western Ave. was cited for sale of single cigarettes.
"It is not uncommon for excise officers to discover other types of criminal activity while conducting their regulatory investigations," Supt. Matt Strittmatter said. "This case demonstrates the importance of the State Excise Police regulating the distribution of alcoholic beverages and how that role and working with local law enforcement agencies enhances public safety."