Traffic stop leads to arrest of violent felon


HANCOCK COUNTY — A McCordsville Police Department officer who pulled over a vehicle to check on an inoperable license plate light during a routine traffic stop ended up arresting a passenger in the back seat of the car and charging him with several crimes.

Brian Patrick Lee Caldwell, 35, Muncie, was arrested and charged with a Level 4 felony count of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and two Level 6 felony drug charges.

According to a probable cause affidavit, an officer pulled the vehicle Caldwell was a passenger in over at the intersection of County Roads West 900N and North 700W shortly before midnight, Wednesday, Aug. 10.

The affidavit said the officer went to talk with the driver of the vehicle, Heidi Donaldson, and could smell raw marijuana. Officials eventually learned from Caldwell he had warrants out for his arrest and officials learned he did indeed have two active warrants out of Delaware County, the report stated.

Officials noted in the report under Indiana Code, Caldwell identified as a serious violent felon due to a child molestation conviction. Officials also stated in the report Caldwell had priors for auto theft, possession of a narcotic drug, operating a vehicle having never received a license, criminal mischief, possession of paraphernalia, theft and child molestation.

A search of the vehicle revealed in the seat back pocket on the front passenger seat a gun, the report said. The gun was located directly in front of where Caldwell was seated, well within easy reach for him. The gun was a Ruger Mark II .22 caliber pistol with a magazine inserted, officials said. Caldwell admitted the gun was his the report stated.

Officials also found a bag with a brown powdery substance officials and Caldwell both identified as heroin. They also found a clear small clear plastic bag with a translucent rock-like substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine.

Officers also ran checks on Heidi Donaldson and a front seat passenger named Brandon Donaldson, who officials found had an active warrant out of Madison County. Heidi Donaldson was issued citations for no plate lights and a driving while suspended infraction and released. Brandon Donaldson was arrested for possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and the Madison County warrant, the report stated.

Caldwell had his initial hearing in Hancock County Superior Court 1 Monday, Aug. 15 where judge Jeffrey Eggers appointed a public defender and set bond at $2,000 cash bond or a $10,000 surety bond.

Caldwell was still listed as an inmate in the county jail as of press time and has a pretrial conference slated for mid-Sept.