FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – A man who had a large amount of marijuana hidden in the trunk of the car he was driving sped off when deputies found the drugs during a traffic stop, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said they pulled over 30-year-old Dwayne Michael Carty around 1:40 a.m. Monday because he made a left turn into oncoming traffic on State Road 100.
Carty said he was unfamiliar with the area and didn’t see the “do not enter sign,” records show. He and his passenger, 21-year-old Shareef Brendon Mpuang, said they’re Jamaican citizens who were driving from West Palm Beach to St. Augustine and had spent some time in South Beach on the way, including a trip to a strip club, according to the report.
When deputies questioned the men about why they didn’t have any luggage, they said Carty told them, “You can look in the car if you want.”
The trunk appeared to be empty but when deputies looked further, they said they found a Target bag near the spare tire that had 323 grams of marijuana vacuum sealed inside.
Carty sped off as soon as deputies found the drugs, reaching a speed of 100 mph as he fled onto northbound Interstate 95, according to the affidavit.
Stop sticks were successfully deployed near mile marker 289 and Carty crashed into a cable box on Pine Cone Drive, a news release said.
After the crash, deputies said Mpuang remained in the passenger’s seat and Carty ran into the woods near a post office and hid under a building.
Postal workers pointed deputies in the right direction and they located Carty under the building, authorities said.
Body camera video showed deputies pointing their tasers at Carty as he crawled toward them. He said he had the marijuana because he frequently smokes and he fled from the traffic stop because he got nervous, according to the affidavit.
He was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana, fleeing law enforcement, reckless driving, leaving the scene of a crash involving damage, tampering with evidence and resisting an officer without violence.
Mpuang was found to have altered his U.S. Visa after it legally expired, the report said. He was arrested on a charge of unauthorized possession of an identification card.
Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said he’s glad things didn’t turn out worse.
“These guys put the lives of our deputies in danger when they decided to flee while deputies were searching the vehicle,” Staly said. “We are thankful that no one was injured. This highlights the dangers deputies face on a daily basis and how a routine traffic stop can change quickly.”
Both men are being held for U.S. Customs and Border Protection.