According to a press release from the Marion Police Department, around 12:30am on February 3, 2020, Marion Police officer Mark Bonneau initiated a traffic stop on I-69, just south of SR 18, on a silver GMC SUV for speeding.
There were two people in the vehicle: Kelli Hardebeck (33) of Elwood was driving, and Chad Burnett (18), also of Elwood, was riding in the passenger’s seat. Officer Bonneau quickly learned from both driver and passenger that neither one of them possessed a valid driver’s license.
While speaking with Hardebeck, Officer Bonneau saw there was a semi-automatic handgun sitting in the middle console, which Hardebeck said she thought was actually a BB gun or pellet gun and that she had bought it for $100. She also admitted to Officer Bonneau that she did not have a license to carry a handgun in Indiana.
Both Hardebeck and Burnett were asked to step out of the vehicle. Hardebeck was arrested for carrying a handgun without a license. Both of them were asked to stay out of the car so Officer Bonneau could conduct a search.
The press release says that Officer Bonneau found the following items inside the vehicle:
- A digital scale with a white powdery residue on it
- A clear, plastic bag containing a second bag with a white powdery substance inside of it
- A black, metal pill container on the key chain attached to the key in the vehicle’s ignition; inside the container was both a straw (cut at an angle) and a clear bag with a rock-like crystalline substance
- An orange, unmarked bottle of pills
Hardebeck told Officer Bonneau she did not have any prescriptions that would explain any of the things found inside the vehicle.
Hardebeck then informed the officer that she had a “bubble” (a glass smoking device) inside her bra. She also admitted that she had recently been using methamphetamine. Officer Bonneau had her transferred to Marion General Hospital, where the “bubble” was removed and she was treated and declared safe enough to be transported to the Grant County Jail.
Hardebeck is now facing the following charges:
- Dealing in Methamphetamine (Level 2 Felony)
- Carrying a Handgun without a License (Level 5 Felony)
- Possession of a Legend Drug X2 (Level 6 Felony)
- Maintaining a Common Nuisance (Level 6 Felony)
- Possession of Paraphernalia (Class C Misdemeanor)
The passenger in the vehicle, Chad Burnett, was released, as he was not charged with any crimes.