On Monday, November 27, 2017 at about 3:30am, Celina Police Patrolman A.J. Poppe was on patrol in the 200-block of S. Sugar St. At that time he observed a maroon, 2003 Ford Mustang convertible run a stop sign on Warren St. at S. Sugar St., travelling west. He conducted a traffic stop on the car, which was driven by 18 year old Brendan Verhoff of Celina.
Upon stopping the car a male passenger, later identified as 29 year old Aaron Lee Rodriguez fled the car and failed to stop at the orders given by Ptl. Poppe. A female passenger, identified as 29 year old Alicia Funkhouser, of Celina, also fled. Both suspects ran westbound into a residential area near the traffic stop. Ptl. Poppe captured Ms. Funkhouser, who resisted arrest and was found to be in possession of small amounts suspected marijuana and methamphetamine. Rodriguez was not apprehended, however, while fleeing he did drop his jacket containing his state issued I.D as well as 11 capsules of suspected heroin.
Deputies from the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Celina Police Dept. with the subsequent search for Aaron Rodriguez. It was found that Rodriguez was renting a room in a house next to the traffic stop at 221 S. Sugar St. A search warrant was applied for and granted by acting Judge Kathy Speelman to search the room for Rodriguez as well as for suspected drugs of abuse and drug paraphernalia.
Upon execution of the search warrant officers did not locate Mr. Rodriguez, however, they did locate and recover numerous drug paraphernalia items with suspected drug residue. This includes nearly 100 clear capsules with suspected drug residue, several used syringes and a spoon with suspected burnt drug residue.
The driver, Brendan Verhoff is expected to be issued a traffic ticket for the stop sign violation. Alicia Funkhouser was held in Mercer Co. Jail on obstructing official business and resisting arrest. She expected to be charged with drug possession later today. Aaron Rodriguez is at large with charges of obstructing official business and possession of drug abuse instruments currently filed. Additional drug charges are expected as the case is currently under review by the Mercer County Prosecutor, Mathew K. Fox.