La PORTE – A Union Mills man wanted on drug charges in Porter County is facing more charges in La Porte County, and a Chesterton woman is also behind bars after narcotics were found in the car she was driving during a traffic stop near La Porte, according to police.

Caitlyn Lois Balding, 26, is facing felony charges of dealing in methamphetamine and possession of a syringe, and a misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana, according to the La Porte County Sheriff's Department. She is being held on a $50,000 cash bond in the La Porte County Jail.

Twenty-nine-year-old Stephen A. Murphy of Union Mills, who was a passenger in Balding's car, is being held in La Porte County on a $755 cash bond, charged with a felony count of identity deception and a misdemeanor count of possession of paraphernalia, according to the sheriff's department.

Murphy was also wanted in Porter County on an arrest warrant, issued Aug. 7, charging felony counts of dealing in methamphetamine and possession of a syringe; and misdemeanor counts of operating a vehicle while intoxicated endangering another person, leaving the scene of an accident, possession of marijuana, and operating a vehicle with narcotics in his body, according to court records. The warrant carries a $1,500 cash bond.

About 2:30 a.m. Sunday, a sheriff's deputy was patrolling on Truesdell Avenue near McClung Road when he spotted a tan Nissan Altima making a left turn from Truesdell onto McClung without properly signalling, then noticed a "loud roaring" from muffler on the vehicle, according to a police report.

He pulled the car over on McClung Road near Kosciusko Street, and the driver, identified as Balding, said she knew the muffler was broken, but it would cost $250 to fix, the report said.

The passenger, later identified as Murphy, originally gave his name as Philip Sublett, police said. While the officer was checking the identifications, and other deputy arrived with his K9 partner Miko, who alerted to the odor of narcotics in the car, the report said.

A search turned up a glass smoking pipe wrapped in a white towel, with a white residue throughout it and a clear crystalline substance inside. In a small white bag, officers found a blue rubber tourniquet, tweezers, Q-tips, and a plastic bag containing a small green leafy substance, the report said. And a search of Balding's purse turned up another blue tourniquet, a glass pipe with burnt marijuana residue inside and a glass vile containing a clear liquid with what appeared to by clear crystals inside.

A search of the trunk yielded a cardboard box that contained eight syringes, one containing a brown liquid, the report said.

Balding and Murphy were arrested and taken to the jail, where he was told that an ID check found that he was not Phillip Sublett, but he continued to insist that was his name. But when he was searched, a debit card was found with the name Stephen Murphy and he admitted that was him.

When Balding was searched, a plastic bag containing a white crystalline substance was found in her underwear, which later tested positive for methamphetamine, as did the substance found in the pipe, the report said. The green leafy substance tested positive for marijuana.

Balding and Murphy were scheduled to appear in La Porte Circuit Court on Wednesday, but court information was not immediately available. Murphy is also scheduled to appear in Porter Superior Court I on Sept. 18 to face the charges set out in the warrant, according to court records.

— From staff reports

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