Suspect cocaine dealer arrested on SR 2
La PORTE – A South Bend man is behind bars after being arrested Thursday and charged with dealing drugs in La Porte County, according to police.
Luis Fernando Sosa-Ortega, 24, was arrested by the La Porte County Drug Task Force and La Porte County Sheriff’s Department following a traffic stop on State Road 2 near CR-600E in Rolling Prairie, a statement from the sheriff’s department said. He is charged with felony dealing in a narcotic drug.
The Drug Task Force began investigating Sosa-Ortega in the spring of 2018, when “information was provided by the public that he was supplying cocaine to individuals within La Porte County,” according to sheriff’s Sgt. Andy Hynek.
He said Sosa-Ortega “was selling cocaine in the northern part of our county.” Following an investigation led by Cpl. Ken Iliff of the Drug Task Force, evidence was presented and Judge Michael Bergerson issued a warrant for Sosa-Ortega’s arrest, Hynek said.
On Thursday, officers from the Drug Task Force and the afternoon patrol shift of the sheriff’s department conducted a controlled traffic stop. “Controlled traffic stop means we were looking for a specific vehicle that we knew he was in,” Hynek said.
After the traffic stop, Sosa-Ortega was taken into custody without incident, he said.
Further investigation after the traffic stop revealed that Sosa-Ortega “was believed to be in the country illegally,” Hynek said. “He has not been deported before, but we believe he was here illegally since the late ’90’s.”
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement was contacted and an immigration detainer hold was placed on Sosa-Ortega, who is being held in the La Porte County Jail without bond, according to police. He is scheduled to appear in Superior Court 1 on Tuesday.
His only prior arrests were for driving offenses in Elkhart County under an alias, Hynek said.
The Drug Task Force investigates individuals who distribute and/or transport drugs into La Porte County from outside communities, he said. Residents should report suspicious drug activity to the crime tip hotline at 219-873-1488 or via social media.