Over 100 grams of heroin seized in traffic stop

Wanda English Burnett

A traffic violation has led to an Illinois (Chicago area) man being arrested, and if convicted of the crimes he’s charged with, he could spend up to 50 years in prison.

According to information from Ripley County Prosecutor Ric Hertel, Steve L. Cotton, 39, was stopped for a traffic violation on May 25 on I-74 by Indiana State Trooper James Wells. During the course of the stop, Trooper Wells conducted additional investigation that led to the discovery of several plastic bags containing a brown, powdery substance. Preliminary tests indicated the presence of heroin - over 100 grams. Heroin has a street value of approximately $100 per gram, according to the prosecutor.

Cotton was arrested at the scene, near the 150 mile marker on I-74, and his BMW was impounded for further investigation.

Cotton has been formally charged in Ripley County Circuit Court by Prosecuting Attorney Hertel with Dealing in a Schedule I, II, III Controlled Substance. The charge, a Class A felony, is punishable by 20-50 years in prison. At Cotton’s initial hearing held May 28 bail was set at $300,000. A December 15 jury trial was scheduled. He was still incarcerated at the Ripley County Jail as of press time.

Prosecutor Hertel noted that Cotton has been formally charged with a crime, but is innocent until proven guilty.