Traffic Stop Yields Stolen Police Handgun and Arrests

Vigo County—This afternoon at 12:56, Indiana State Police Master Trooper Hans Nowak stopped a  white 2010 Chevrolet Impala westbound on US 40 near Hunt Street for 63 miles-per-hour in a 45mph zone. A smell of possible burnt marijuana was emanating from the vehicle as Nowak approached the driver. 

During a search of the vehicle, no Marijuana was located, but a reported stolen handgun was found in the purse of a female passenger. The Glock .40 caliber semi-auto handgun was reported stolen to the Terre Haute Police Department on April 08, 2017 and bore a serial number consistent with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department handguns. Further inquiry has led troopers to believe the weapon was stolen from a retired IMPD officer’s vehicle that was parked at a local hotel on or around that date. 

The arrested driver was 35-year-old Howard Lorenzo Harris of Terre Haute, IN. Harris was preliminarily charged with Possession of Handgun without a Permit, Possession of Stolen Property, and Operating While Intoxicated-Marijuana. Numerous traffic citations were issued as well. Harris was incarcerated in the Vigo County Jail. 

The arrested passenger was 37-year-old Sasha T. Batson of Terre Haute, IN. Batson was preliminarily charged with Possession of Stolen Property and Possession of Handgun without a Permit. She was incarcerated in the Vigo County Jail. 

No further information is available…..Book-in photos attached. 

The incident was investigated by ISP Master Trooper Hans Nowak. Assisting were ISP Master Trooper Chip McKee and Sergeant Kris Fitzgerald.  

Under the Law, criminal charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.