UPDATE: No Formal Possession Charges in Heroin Overdose Traffic Stop Case

Michael Matela was booked into Will County Jail pending several formal possession charges, none of which were filed, after a police traffic stop turned into a medical emergency.

Updated: 3:52 p.m. Thursday

The Will County State's Attorney on Jan. 7 declined to file formal possession charges against Michael S. Matela, of Frankfort, after Mokena police performed a traffic stop on the car he was driving and discovered a man suffering from a heroin overdose in the car’s passenger seat.

Formal charges for improper lane usage were filed against Matela.

Matela was booked into Will County Jail on Jan. 4, pending formal charges for possession of a controlled substance, cannabis possession and paraphernalia possession. 

He appeared in Will County Circuit Court on Jan. 17, where he received a sentence of $185 in fines and three months supervision for improper traffic lane use.


A Frankfort man faces felony drug charges after he was pulled over by the police while a passenger overdosed in his car, police reports state.

Michael S. Matela, 20, of the 22600 block of Limestone Court in Frankfort, is charged with possession of a controlled substance, a felony. He is also charged with misdemeanor cannabis and paraphernalia possession, as well as improper lane usage.

A Mokena police officer performed a traffic stop when he noticed Matela’s car swerving in and out of the left lane and crossing the lane marker at 6:13 p.m. on Jan. 4 near 191st Street and Everett Boulevard.

When the officer approached the car, he saw an unconscious man slumped down in the front passenger seat. Matela and a second passenger, Amanda N. Miller, 19, of the 700 block of S. Cedar Road in New Lenox, told the officer the man had overdosed on heroin. The man had a slight pulse and was transported to Silver Cross Hospital by the Mokena Fire Protection District.

Matela and Miller were both placed under arrest.

A search of the car revealed a used hypodermic needle, a metal Altoids container containing heroin residue, .5 grams of cannabis, a package of unused needles, a bag containing 2.2 grams of cannabis, two glass pipes, two packages of rolling papers and a plastic bag containing nine Xanax pills.

Matela was transported to Will County Jail. His next court date is Jan. 17.

Miller was charged with possession of drug equipment and released on a $1,000 I-bond, pending a court date in Joliet. 

Police blotter information is provided by the Mokena Police Department. Charges are not evidence of guilt. They are a record of police actions taken on a given day, and persons charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. If you or a family member are charged or cited and the case is subsequently adjudicated, we encourage you to notify the editor. We will verify and report the outcome.

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LW January 16, 2013 at 05:46 PM
It starts at home . . .our children are given too many freedoms and aloud to do things I would never have dreamed of doing when I was their ages. From girls dressing like they are 25 years old when they are really 15, to the commercial exposé of television shows about teen pregnancy or under age drinking . . . we, as a society, have done a huge disservice to our children. We need to get control back . . . at it starts at home. Family meals, talking, and less freedoms to these KIDS. They are KIDS. They need us now more than ever.
Steve Windle January 16, 2013 at 06:30 PM
I agree with Mr. Roberts. People are not going to stop using drug because the world sucks. Life isn't fair and were lied to about what life really means. Drug are an escape: if I take this pill, maybe my world will be perfect for at least alittle while. Wake up everyone! It's not pretty and maybe it goes against the delusions everyone seems to have built for themselves but this is how the world works. Spending all the money to incarcerate drug offending is breaking our state, money that should be spent on healthcare an education for the children. While I don't believe heroin should ever be publicly acceptable/distributed, regulation of other drugs such as marijuana, LSD, and mushrooms is correct course of action. Stop the "war on drugs" and lets make a compromise.
Jon Voight January 16, 2013 at 06:51 PM
Doofus. Jerks like that kid are the reason I have to drive a big safe gas-guzzling truck. I'd like to think the Police really care, but when Will County Sheriffs on Laraway lost 40,000 doses of heroin, well.... http://newlenox.patch.com/listings/will-county-sheriffs-department-laraway-substation
dany degrange January 16, 2013 at 08:07 PM
Haha your kids are messed up because your terrible parents. How dare you blame the police or schools. Maybe if you would have spent more time parenting and less time spoiling your kids they wouldn't do drugs. Your hick ass town has nice houses in the middle of nowhere with nothing for them to do bc they are a hour away from anything remotely exciting so they turn to drugs. Obviously the kid who was driving wasn't using heroine or he would have gotten a DUI also. But once again u geniuses(dumbasses) begin to judge a case before you can even make it through the charges. This is a classic case of a kid being overcharged because he was driving with bad people in his car. None of the charges will stick except pot and paraphernalia. Reckless driving will be thrown out bc of extreme circumstances of having a kid overdosing your car. This kid didn't give him the drugs, the person that should be on trial is the heroine user.
john bruno January 16, 2013 at 08:09 PM
Drug rehab programs help 1% of seriously addicted users. Alcohol abuse is worse. Only way to solve the heroin abuse problem: kill the heroin dealers. Enough....
Steve Windle January 16, 2013 at 08:19 PM
That would definitely be another way to solve it but the law calls that murder.
Jon G January 16, 2013 at 09:15 PM
I grew up in new lenox and graduated in '05 I never heard of one kid in my class ever doing heroine what the hell is wrong with this kids booze and pot are normal but heroine what the hell is that its new lenox, mokena, and Frankfort. Not Robbins, Harvey, and dalton
Chauncy January 16, 2013 at 09:34 PM
I think John is correct about most of the issues he has laid out. It's not just illicit drugs that we're losing out to, but the prescription opioids that are so prevalent too. The number of people on Norco, Vicodin, oxycontin, fentanyl, etc is absolutely mind numbing. We are less than 5% of the world's population, and we consume over 80% of the world's opioids. We are weak weak culture. We have it too easy. We can afford to drink, smoke, do coke, heroin, etc because we have so many social welfare programs that if you really screw up your future, you have free medical care and social security disability insurance, welfare, SNAP cards. I do put 90% of the blame on parents. You have to know who your kids are hanging out with. Not to overgeneralize, but if they go to the skateboard park, they're on drugs. Tougher drug charges are simply not the answer. As John said, crime flourishes, gun violence ensues, and we have huge incarceration costs.
Chauncy January 16, 2013 at 09:43 PM
Leanne you are very wise. Kids are growing up too fast, and most experts agree that family dinner times are a key component to strong families. Even doing everything right though, a decent % of bright, well-adjusted kids will try drugs. I know some very good parents whose kids have tried pot, mushrooms, and who knows what else. Unfortunately, some drugs like crystal meth and heroin are so addictive that you don't get a second chance.
Johnny Appleseed January 16, 2013 at 09:45 PM
This story in accurately describes the event. Clear he would have gotten a DUI if he was messed up on heroin as well! The swerving probably a result of attending to the passenger overdosing on heroin. He's being overcharged right now. The poliece always just try and clear up the scene as soon as possible. Way isn't the one who was actually using the heroine in any trouble??
Jonny Appleseed January 16, 2013 at 09:46 PM
This story in accurately describes the event. Clear he would have gotten a DUI if he was messed up on heroin as well! The swerving probably a result of attending to the passenger overdosing on heroin. He's being overcharged right now. The poliece always just try and clear up the scene as soon as possible. Way isn't the one who was actually using the heroine in any trouble??
Chauncy January 16, 2013 at 09:48 PM
The one thing that John Roberts needs to acknowledge is that if and when different drugs are decriminalized, there will be marketing teams pushing these drugs on our youth. Just like they can convince you that smoking cigarettes is cool, the same will go for pot, mushrooms, other drugs. Madison Avenue knows how to get the public to spend its money on any number of questionable things. So let's assume drug use will go up some. I personally don't think it would increase immensely, because the people who need drugs can get them right now. Many teens say drugs are easier to get than alcohol (which is a drug, by the way.)
Jon Voight January 16, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Darren Stevens and Larry Tate have already come out and said there will be no such marketing drive.
Connolly January 16, 2013 at 11:12 PM
What a joke... someone should bust that smile on his face with a right hook......
Christopher January 17, 2013 at 06:03 AM
You are going to blame the DARE Program? Seriously? you can teach someone how drugs are awful ANYTHING for that fact. Its never going to stop them. SOCIETY IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR RAISING YOUR KIDS! Parents need to step up. if parents fail, society will fail them. Plus hes been out of High school so anything LW does wouldn't have affected him.
Ginger January 17, 2013 at 02:00 PM
You’re all so quick to pass judgment. He will have his day in court and the truth will be revealed. How do we know those drugs were even his? We don't!! Sometimes we are guilty by association clearly the passenger is the one with the drug problem because he is the one that was overdosing. Nowhere in that article does it say the driver Michael Matela was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Maybe he was driving erratically because he was trying to get the passenger to safety. Everyone can assume things but there are always two sides to the story! The MEDIA always makes things worse than it really is!!!
Clutche January 17, 2013 at 11:48 PM
It's only a matter of time until this loser is busted again.
caileeolsson January 18, 2013 at 12:28 AM
You people are all horrible human beings
Johnny on the spot January 18, 2013 at 12:55 AM
Uh Oh Cailee Olsson ??? bad words will get you off this board quick so BUH BYE
nicole January 18, 2013 at 01:05 AM
if you don't know him you can all stfu and not be so fast to judge he's a sweetheart and had nothing to do with the drugs so if his friend was stupid enough to do HEROIN oh well Micheal matela has no control over that get a life and atop being so fast to judge others when ypi have no clue
FrankfortDad60423 January 18, 2013 at 01:18 PM
Please everyone stop !!! there is 1 thing you all left out in your 40 comments!!!! God God God!!!! Maybe you people should start telling your kids about God. Maybe raising them up in a Christian home. I tell my 14 year old that god loves him and he will never turn away. God is your answer .he is almighty. He could only take that addiction away from the kids- not you not me not dr but god. So quit blaming the system when it is the parents fault.
Dede January 18, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Chauncy,You made some good points but when you said"Not to overgeneralize, but if they go to the skateboard park, they're on drugs." I lost all respect for you. How dare you!
lala January 19, 2013 at 02:16 AM
People wrongly assume that because he is young he must be doing drugs. Thank you Patch for posting the update. I hope Matela has found new friends to hang around with and that the passenger pulled through. So sad how some of these young people are throwing their lives away. I wish they would get help instead of trying to self medicate themselves.
Sue1 February 11, 2013 at 09:44 AM
So it's wrong to say that if someone goes to the skate park they are doing drugs, but its ok to say, this is New Lenox, Mokena and Franfort, not Harvey, Dolton, and Robbins? What is that supposed to mean? Is it true the school announces the number of overdoses weekly? Those numbers should be made more public perhaps that may help.
TheSecretEyeofWillCo February 22, 2013 at 01:50 AM
This kid went to my high school. He is a homosexual, pretty open about it. maybe he isnt know. Sometimes gays can result to drug use, but i have never heard of him doing heroin. I do not think he would do it either. Sometimes friends do stupid things that you can stop them from doing. Atleast he was driving him to hopefully get help. Next thing Mike should do is go teach his friend a lesson for getting him in trouble.
miguel March 19, 2013 at 08:24 AM
He had no control over his previous battery charges and marajuana charges. why dont you stfu and grow the fu.
Fed Up Citizen April 26, 2013 at 11:17 PM
You really dont know what you are talking about. He wasnt helping the kid he was willing to just leave him in the car while he went to work. He didnt care if the kid died or not. The girl was trying to save him!
Fed Up Citizen April 26, 2013 at 11:18 PM
he go off on the traffic violation! Our government is so messed up! This kid has been in trouble before but just seems to get a slap on the wrist!
Fed Up Citizen April 26, 2013 at 11:20 PM
you are obviously very naive
Fed Up Citizen April 26, 2013 at 11:21 PM
you really dont know him! If you did you wouldnt call him a sweetheart


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