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It was about 4:30 a.m. May 29, and a DeLand police sergeant spotted an old Mercury passenger vehicle in the roadway in south DeLand. When the sergeant drove his patrol car toward the vehicle, the man behind the Mercury’s steering wheel started driving, without putting on the headlights.

The lawman conducted a traffic stop, and the driver said he didn’t have his driver’s license on him. Then he gave a false Social Security number (which the sergeant’s records check immediately detected).

Next, the driver gave an inaccurate name and birthdate for himself. (To be fair, he gave his actual last name, but changed his first name from Miguel to Michael. And the birthdate he told the officer is one day off from his real date of birth.) Turns out he’s a 35-year-old man who lives in Deltona.

“A record check of prior law enforcement encounters with the vehicle was conducted and found that [the driver] had been arrested for operating with a suspended license.” And his photo was located in a database of drivers.

His driver’s license had been suspended multiple times, and, in February of this year, he’d been informed of the most recent suspension.

I l legal Operator was placed in handcuffs, but even more trouble lay ahead. When a second policeman searched the scofflaw’s person, he found a “cylindrical pipe” in the guy’s right front pocket.

The police report describes the pipe as “clear and appear[ing] to have white powdery substance in the inside of it [with] both ends [having] black residue test showed the pipe to be “presumptive positive for crack cocaine.”on the outside.” A chemical

And a records check disclosed that Illegal Operator “was on active probation for dealing in stolen property.” His active probation began May 10 of this year but was now quickly revoked because of his latest offenses.

He was arrested and taken to jail.

Illegal Operator would have been better off if he’d just stayed home in Deltona, asleep in bed, instead of hanging out at 4:30 a.m. in the streets of DeLand like he was looking to get arrested!

— By Keith Allen, based on local police-agency reports. If you have information about a crime, call Crime Stoppers, 1-888-277-TIPS. You could be eligible for a reward

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