Plea agreement accepted in 2021 drug case


Joel David West

HANCOCK COUNTY — A Muncie man facing felony drug charges from an incident in May 2021 had his case settled via a plea agreement last week in Hancock County Superior Court 1.

Joel David West, 32, Muncie, admitted guilt to a Level 4 felony count of possession of methamphetamine and was given a total sentence of three years to be executed at the Indiana Department of Corrections.

West was facing four different charges in all, including the Level 4 felony as well as a Level 5 felony count of possession of a narcotic drug, a Level 6 felony count of possession of a narcotic drug and a Class A misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance. The most serious charge carries up to 12 years in prison.

While West admitted guilt to the Level 4 felony, the plea agreement noted the other three charges were dismissed. West was sentenced by Magistrate Cody Coombs, who accepted the plea agreement Wednesday, May 3.

According to a probable cause affidavit, West was one of three men who were pulled over for a traffic stop in Fortville in May 2021 where police found illegal drugs.

In all, police found nearly 28 grams of illegal drugs, including 14.1 grams of methamphetamine, 6 grams of crack cocaine, 2.8 grams of cocaine, 3.8 grams of heroin and 1 gram of spice, an affidavit stated. Officers also found a handgun with 17 rounds of ammunition; a digital scale; a backpack full of lighters and baggies; a container with a brown, waxy substance believed to be marijuana wax; and a glass pipe.

According to the affidavit, the Jeep’s driver pulled into the ordering lane at the Dairy Queen despite seeing the police vehicle behind it trying to pull the jeep over. The officer watched the back-seat passenger trying to hide something, the reported stated. The officer decided to run the license plate and found it did not belong to the Jeep.

The other men in the case, Quintin Alan Kennedy, 21 had his case settled in November 2021 with all charges except a Class A Misdemenaor dismissed. Kennedy was given a 365 day term in the Hancock County Jail with 289 days suspended; Aubrey William Baker, 27, had four of five charges dismissed except a Level 6 felony count of identity deception. Baker had his case settled in October 2021 and was given a 912 day term with 547 days suspended, 143 days of time served and 143 days of good time credit.