Suspect escapes during traffic stop in Mattawan

Courtney Bell
An undated courtesy photo of Courtney Bell.

MATTAWAN, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities are looking for a man wanted on multiple drug charges after they say he escaped deputies during a traffic stop in Mattawan.

Courtney Bell, 26, of the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek areas is wanted on three warrants for delivery of meth, the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office said. He’s also expected to face five other charges, including possession of meth with intent to deliver, possession of marijuana, felony firearm, resisting and obstructing police officers, and driving on a suspended license.

The traffic stop happened around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday along eastbound I-94 just east of the exit to Mattawan. The sheriff’s office said Bell was pulled over because he was wanted on the felony meth warrants.

Authorities say Bell stopped the far for deputies, but then became uncooperative. There was a struggle and Bell got away into a wooded area on the south side of the highway.

The Van Buren and Kalamazoo county sheriff’s offices, Mattawan police and Michigan State Police looked for him, but couldn’t find him. Mattawan Consolidated Schools were locked down as a precaution while the search was underway.

Deputies say they found 5.4 grams of suspected meth, an ounce and a half of marijuana and a loaded handgun when they searched Bell’s car and his coat.

Anyone with information about where Bell may be is asked to call the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office at 269.657.3101, Crime Stoppers at 1.800.342.7867, Silent Observer at 269.343.2100, or your local police. You can also text a tip to the sheriff’s office by sending the keyword VBCTIPS and your message to CRIMES (274637).