ELKHART — An Elkhart man faces meth dealing and other drug-related charges following a traffic stop.
Benjamin Morris, 30, was charged with dealing 10 or more grams of methamphetamine, a Level 2 felony, after his arrest Monday. He was also charged with possession of cocaine and unlawful possession of a syringe, both Level 6 felonies.
His charges include two misdemeanor counts as well: possession of marijuana and resisting law enforcement.
Morris was booked in the Elkhart County Correctional Facility on $100,000 bond. His initial court hearing is set for Thursday.
A Level 2 felony is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a Level 6 felony by up to 21/2 years.
According to court documents:
An Elkhart Police officer conducted a traffic stop on Morris after seeing that the moped he was riding didn’t have a license plate. The vehicle was stopped around 9:40 p.m. near the intersection of Benham and Indiana avenues.
Morris claimed that he was in the process of buying the moped. He also told the officer he had a knife on him when asked if he had any weapons.
However, Morris resisted attempts to pat him down when the officer wanted to retrieve the knife. He was eventually placed in handcuffs, and a pocket knife was taken from his pocket and a backpack he was wearing was removed.
When taking the handcuffs off again later, the officer allegedly noticed a marijuana odor coming from Morris. Morris initially denied that he smelled like marijuana, but eventually he admitted that he had some in his coat pocket, police say.
In addition to two plastic baggies containing what proved to be 9 grams of marijuana, the officer also found a baggy in the pocket that held a whitish crystalline substance. Morris allegedly confirmed that it was meth, and admitted he had other illegal items on him as well.
Officers found a syringe containing what Morris said was meth, as well as a baggy of white powder that tested positive for cocaine and a straw.
In his backpack, police found another 14 needles, an electronic scale and numerous empty plastic baggies. They also found over $1,000 in cash.
The total amount of meth weighed about 27 grams.
Morris allegedly told police he recently had a relapse and had a large drug habit, and that the items they found were for taking drugs or weighing them out before buying them.