POLK COUNTY (CW44 News at 10/PCSO) – PCSO traffic stop in Mulberry results in DUI, drug trafficking, and weapon charges.
A deputy’s patrol car was nearly struck by another vehicle Thursday afternoon, May 21, 2020 near Mulberry, and the ensuing traffic stop revealed that the driver was impaired, illegally possessed a firearm, and had an array of trafficking and drug dealing quantity of narcotics.
23-year-old Joseph Macauley of Mulberry was driving west in a gold 2007 Lexus sedan when he was pulled over at about 4:42 p.m. on Thursday, on Highway 60 East near Bonnie Mine Road.
A deputy who was driving alongside of Macauley’s Lexus had already noticed his erratic driving when the Lexus nearly struck the marked patrol car.
A traffic stop was initiated and when the deputy made contact with Macauley at his window, he noticed a handgun on Macauley’s lap. The gun was secured by the deputy and found to have been loaded with eleven rounds of ammunition. Macauley is prohibited to possess firearms or ammunition due to his status as a convicted felon.
“Traffic stops are among the most dangerous and unpredictable types of interactions. And certainly, this deputy was surprised when he approached an armed convicted felon hauling around a smorgasbord of narcotics. It ended well for the deputy…not so much for Mr. Macauley.”– Grady Judd, Sheriff.
Macauley exhibited glassy eyes and slurred speech, and had difficulty remaining awake during the investigation.
A Field Sobriety Test and subsequent Drug Influence Evaluation (via urine test) led to the determination that Macauley was impaired and under the influence of marijuana and a narcotic analgesic.
A search of the Lexus yielded various amounts of narcotics and paraphernalia to include: 138.18 grams of PCP, 3.92 grams of PCP colored paper stamps, 60.8 grams of MDMA pills, 82 individual pills that were positively identified as Alprazolam, cannabis resin, 68.2 grams of a green leafy substance that yielded a positive result for marijuana, and a glass bong.
Joseph Macauley was booked-in at the Polk County Jail and charged with: Armed Trafficking of Phenethylamine (FL), Armed Trafficking of Phencyclidine (FL), Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon (F2), Possession of Phencyclidine with Intent to Sell (F2), Possession of MDMA with Intent to Sell (F2), Possession of Alprazolam with Intent to Sell (F3), Possession of Amphetamine with Intent to Sell (F3), Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell (F3), Possession of Marijuana over 20 Grams (F3), Possession of Marijuana Resin (F3), Possession of Paraphernalia (M1), Maintaining a Vehicle for Drug Use (M1), and DUI (M1).
Macauley’s prior criminal history includes three felonies and seven misdemeanors.