A Valparaiso resident was arrested Tuesday on a drug charge after the Porter
County Sheriff’s Police said that he apparently injected himself with heroin
in the men’s room of the Family Express at the intersection of Silhavy Road
and LaPorte Ave.
According to police, at 9:51 p.m. an officer was at the Family Express when
the clerk reported a suspicious male subject’s having entered the men’s
room. The clerk further advised that she was familiar with the subject, that
he “often comes inside, then immediately makes his way to the bathroom where
he spends an unusual amount of time,” and that after his use of the restroom
she has found hypodermic needles in the garbage can, police said.
On this occasion, the clerk found two needles in the garbage can, police
The officer observed the subject, identified as Brandon Hoffman, 32, of 308
Arbordale Drive, leave the store, then followed him to a nearby parking lot,
where he made contact with Hoffman. “While speaking with (Hoffman), I
noticed his speech was very slow and he put a great deal of effort into
constructing his sentences,” the officer stated in his report.
The officer asked Hoffman whether he would be willing to roll up his
sleeves, Hoffman did so, and the officer observed “‘track marks’ in the
crease of both of his arms,” “blood underneath the surface of the skin, and
fresh bruising,” police said. The officer asked Hoffman when he had last
injected heroin and Hoffman told him “approximately a month ago,” police
said. Hoffman also advised that he “regularly drives to Chicago to purchase
it,” “adamantly stated he does not sell heroin locally nor could he purchase
it locally,” and added that “he was currently in a treatment program for
using heroin and was regularly tested,” police said.
When the officer told Hoffman that two needles were just recovered from the
Family Express men’s restroom and added that they would be fingerprinted,
Hoffman admitted that the needles belonged to him and that he had thrown
them in the garbage can on leaving, police said.
Hoffman was taken into custody on a charge of possession of a hypodermic and
transported to Porter County Jail. After removing Hoffman from his squad car
and remanding him to jail staff, the officer conducted a routine search of
his squad’s back seat and recovered there a black drawstring bag containing
four hypodermic needles, a burnt spoon with apparent heroin residue, three
burnt cotton balls, and six small plastic bags containing 4.5 grams of a
white powdery substance which field-tested positive for heroin, police said.
The officer noted in his report that earlier in the day he had cleaned the
interior of his squad car, at which time the black drawstring bag was not
there, and that no one had been in his squad since that time, police said.
The officer indicated that he is seeking additional charges against Hoffman
of possession of heroin and possession of paraphernalia, police said.