By Michael R. Moser
Deputies responding to a report of a vehicle in a ditch got a bonus when they recovered a vehicle nearby that had been reported stolen from its owner in a neighboring county.
Steven Ray England, 43, 7330 Old State Hwy. 111, Spencer, is charged with theft of less than $60,000, manufacture, delivery or sale of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving on a suspended license.
A woman found in the truck with the suspect was questioned and released after it was determined she had no knowledge about the stolen vehicle.
Deputies were dispatched to School St. in Crab Orchard shortly before 5:30 a.m. Aug. 6 and found a man and woman passed out in the cab of a pickup truck, according to Deputy Chuck Hennessee's report.
The woman was awakened and told officers that the man had picked her up at a gas station and was taking her to her brother's home in the Ozone community.
The man passed out in the driver's seat was then awakened and told deputies that he was "just tired and could not drive anymore," according to Hennessee's report.
Deputies Tom Howard and Brandon Tollett arrived on the scene and while checking the registration of the vehicle, discovered that the tag did not belong with the pickup. Further check revealed the vehicle had been stolen in Putnam County.
Marijuana and other drug paraphernalia were seized from the vehicle and England was formally charged.