GREENCASTLE -- Putnam County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Headley has denied motions to suppress evidence in two related cases.
Zikimo Jones, 32, of Indianapolis is charged with two counts of Class B felony dealing in a controlled substance and Class D felony possession of a controlled substance. If convicted on all counts, he could be sentenced to up to 43 years in prison.
His co-defendant, Almez C.D. Bentley, 30, of Detroit is facing the same charges as well as a Class D felony charge of possession of a narcotic drug. He could be sentenced to a maximum of 46 years behind bars.
Both men were arrested April 27 as the result of a traffic stop. In August, Jones' court-appointed attorney Melinda Jackman-Hanlin and Bentley's court-appointed attorney James Recker filed motions to suppress evidence, stating their clients -- both of whom are African-American -- had been the victims of racial profiling.
Bentley was driving a vehicle in which Jones was a passenger when they were stopped on I-70 by Putnam County Sheriff's Department Lt. Dwight Simmons for not having a license plate displayed, court documents said.
The motions to suppress state that as soon as Simmons approached the vehicle, he saw a valid registration plate properly displayed in the rear window of the vehicle.
Jones' and Bentley's attorneys alleged that an improper search which produced drugs was conducted on the vehicle and that their clients were questioned without being read their Miranda rights.
Both men have been at the Putnam County Jail since their arrests. Bentley's bond was set at $30,000 cash, Jones' at $20,000 cash.
Jury trials in both cases are set for Oct. 7. Recker and Jackman-Hanlin must notify the court by Sept. 21 if the cases will proceed.