06/03/13 Ryan Stockberger, 35, of Plymouth was sentenced on Thursday in Marshall Superior Court No. 1 to 3 years imprisonment for possession of a narcotic drug, a Class D felony and 2 years of imprisonment for operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering a person, a Class D felony. The sentences were ordered served consecutively for a total sentence of 5 years.
Judge Robert O. Bowen approved an agreement reached between Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Nelson Chipman and defense attorney Douglas N. Hite, which provided for a sentence at the Indiana Department of Corrections of 5 years of imprisonment. No part of the sentence was suspended.
The case began when two different citizens called 911 to report an impaired driver traveling south on US 31 through Lakeville and approaching LaPaz at approximately 5:00 p.m. on December 18, 2012. Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Giordano responded to the area and located the vehicle about which the reports had been made. Officer Giordano observed continued erratic driving and stopped the vehicle on U.S. 31 north of 11th Road. The driver was identified as Ryan Stockberger.
Stockberger failed several field sobriety tests and was arrested for Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated endangering a person. His vehicle was impounded and while an inventory was conducted of the vehicle contents by Officer Kerry Brouyette of the Marshall County Police Department and a quantity of heroin was discovered along with several syringes and other drug related paraphernalia.
The agreement reached between Chipman and defense counsel required Stockberger to plead guilty to both possession of a narcotic drug and the OWI, and a receive a maximum sentence of 3 years on the drug offense and two years on the driving offense with the sentences to run consecutively for a total of 5 years at the Indiana Department of Corrections.
Chipman credited the cellular phone calls by alert and concerned citizens and the quick reaction of Officer Giordano, and the assistance by Officer Brouyette with getting an impaired driver off the road, which then led to a narcotics case without the need of a trial.