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Hit with drug charges day after father’s death

January 28, 2019

MICHIGAN CITY – A Michigan City man found passed out in a vehicle a mobile home park in frigid conditions early Friday is now facing multiple drug charges, according to police.

Joshua J. Wozniak, 26, is charged with felony counts possession of cocaine, possession of heroin, and unlawful possession of a syringe; and a misdemeanor count of possession of paraphernalia, according to court records.

Michigan City Police were called about 12:30 a.m. to Terrace Acres, off U.S. 20 on the west side, for a domestic disturbance. While en route, police were told the woman who called had left the area, but was still in the trailer park in a gray Nissan pickup.

Police found the truck parked in with a man slumped over in the passenger seat, according to a police report. The vehicle wasn’t running and it was about 9 degrees outside with a wind chill of -6 degrees, police said.

There was also a small dog inside the truck with the man, who was “passed out but still shivering from the extremely low temperatures, the officer wrote in the report. “I was in fear for the subject’s safety since it was so cold. I started knocking on the window, which was successful. The subject was startled, however woke up and opened the door.”

The man, later identified as Wozniak, said he was not in need of medical attention, but when the officer looked into the truck, he saw a glass smoking pipe or “crack pipe,” the report said. He detained Wozniak for possession of paraphernalia, and found two more pipes when he searched him.

He also found a plastic container with a bag of “off-white rocky substance” inside, which later tested positive as crack cocaine, the report said.

Another plastic bag was found containing a “brownish rocky/powdery substance, which tested positive as heroin, police said. A used syringe was found in the center console of the truck.

Wozniak was taken to the police station for processing, and was found to have a wallet with credit cards and identification for Lawrence Wozniak, the report said. Joshua Wozniak said it belonged to his father, who had passed the day before. A call from his family confirmed the recent death, and said Joshua Wozniak had been using the credit cards after his father’s death.

In court on Friday, Wozniak pleaded not guilty. His next hearing is set for Monday in Superior Court 4.

Court records show he has another pending case in La Porte County on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated with endangerment and possession of paraphernalia and a syringe. A hearing on that case is scheduled for Feb. 19.

—From staff reports

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