In the Hot Seat: Parolee Arrested after Officers Report He Was Within Reach of Cocaine Found under the Opposite Seat

Jerome C. Henderson – Age 28

Springfield, Illinois – Springfield Police arrested a passenger of a vehicle after discovering cocaine under the driver’s seat. The passenger, currently on parole with a history of drug and weapon arrests, was taken into custody and later released from the Sangamon County Jail after being granted pre-trial release.

According to Springfield Police, On November 13, 2023, around 10:51 p.m., a black Nissan sedan failed to stop at a stop sign and was pulled over at North Grand Ave and Patton Ave. Police reports indicate that upon approaching the vehicle, the passenger, identified as Jerome C. Henderson, age 28, had his seat reclined back to the point where the back of the front seat was almost touching the bottom part of the back passenger seat. He had his hands up by his head and appeared to be reaching behind the front seats. Jerome also had an open bottle of Hennessy Cognac in the passenger seat.

Due to the open bottle of alcohol, officers searched the vehicle and found a small bag of cannabis on the center console and a small white rock on the floorboard behind the driver’s seat.

Officers state they placed only Jerome in handcuffs due to the way his seat was leaned back, and the suspected cocaine was within his reach.

Police say Jerome was read his Miranda Rights and was willing to talk. Jerome stated he did not know whose cocaine it was and that it was not his. He provided the name of a male who was in the backseat of the vehicle at one point but could not provide further information.

A field test of the suspected cocaine was conducted, and it came back positive for traces of cocaine. It weighed approximately 0.18 grams.

The driver was questioned and asked if she knew about the suspected cocaine in the vehicle; she said that she did not. She mentioned that she was with Jerome from approximately 8:30 p.m. up until the time of the traffic stop. She added that Jerome became drunk during that time and requested her to drive.

Police state that the vehicle that was pulled over belonged to Jerome’s mother, and she arrived on the scene to take the vehicle home.

Jerome was taken to the Sangamon County Jail and charged by the Sangamon County State’s Attorney’s Office with Possession of a Controlled Substance, a class 4 felony. He was granted pre-trial release and is expected to return to court on December 7th at 9:00 a.m.

From the Illinois Department of Corrections Website

According to records, Jerome, who is currently on parole, received a 10-year sentence for armed robbery in 2018, an 8-year sentence for being a felon in possession/use of a firearm, 33 months in 2016 for possession of a controlled substance, and 8 years in 2014 for aggravated robbery, indicating he was armed with a firearm.

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