Police arrested 17 people at an underage drinking party in Knox, Ind., early yesterday morning.

Shortly after midnight Sunday, officers with the Indiana State Excise Police, Starke County Sheriff’s Office and the Knox City Police Department investigated an anonymous complaint about an underage drinking party in the 1100 block of E. John Street in Knox.


When officers arrived, there were around 20 vehicles parked at this residence. A young female was standing outside near a pole barn holding a bottle of beer. She attempted to hide the beer bottle and walked back into the pole barn. When she opened the door, officers heard loud music and saw several young-appearing people consuming what appeared to be alcoholic beverages.

As a result of their investigation, excise officers cited 17 people on preliminary charges of illegal consumption of alcohol and one with furnishing alcohol to a minor. Of those charged with underage drinking, three were less than 18 years of age and were released to their parents.

Resident James A. Hudgens, 19, was preliminarily charged with illegal consumption of alcohol and furnishing alcohol to a minor.

Those cited this weekend will appear in Knox City Court on future dates.

Knox, which has a population of 3,704, is 30 miles south of La Porte, Ind., on U.S. Highway 35.

Indiana State Excise Police officers are the enforcement division of the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission. While excise officers have the authority to enforce any state law, they focus primarily on enforcing Indiana’s alcohol and tobacco statutes.

All criminal defendants are to be presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.