VOLUSIA COUNTY, FL – A fleeing suspected drug dealer and his passenger were taken into custody in a Walmart parking lot on Thursday after they fled from New Smyrna Beach to DeLand and finally to Ormond Beach.
According to authorities, The silver Honda Accord fled from an attempted traffic stop Thursday morning after a New Smyrna Beach police officer saw it swerving on the road with the driver’s door open, nearly colliding with people on bicycles while the driver offered to sell them drugs.
The Honda initially stopped but then sped off from police and headed west to DeLand, where a police helicopter monitored its route from overhead. The vehicle continued to flee north on S.R. 11, and headed back east on S.R. 40 to Ormond Beach, where the driver and passenger decided to bail out in the busy parking lot of Walmart.
The driver Laterrick Jones, 30, New Smyrna Beach, ran from deputies, into the Walmart, then back outside where he was met by one of Volusia Sheriff’s new unmarked units assigned to address aggressive driving. Deputies took him into custody without further incident.
As Jones was running, he dropped several items, including a bag of heroin, crack cocaine and meth and a cell phone that was still actively scanning law enforcement radio traffic.
Jones was charged with fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement and driving without a valid license, and turned over to New Smyrna Beach Police, who also charged him with fleeing, trafficking in heroin, and possession of both crack cocaine and methamphetamine with intent to sell. He remained held at the Volusia County Branch Jail on Friday with a total bond of $43,500.
The passenger, Jonathon Watson, 32, Daytona Beach, began casually walking away in the parking lot when he saw law enforcement, but was spotted by Volusia Sheriff’ Capt. Ben Yisrael and taken into custody without incident. New Smyrna Beach police charged him with resisting an officer without violence. He posted $500 bond and was released from jail Thursday evening.