A man who was seen making a drug deal in the parking lot of a local business and then ran from deputies with a child in his vehicle has been sentenced to five years in prison.
The man, Joshua Dwayne Russell, 32, entered guilty pleas to charges of evading arrest and driving on a revoked license. Due to his lengthy prior record, he was directed to serve at least 35 percent of his sentence before he is given chance of parole. He was also assessed a $200 fine.
Officers said they saw Russell in the midst of a drug deal and tried to take him into custody.
“I, along with other members of the sheriff’s department, attempted to stop him after witnessing a transaction believed to be narcotics related in the parking lot of Mystic Market,” said sheriff’s deputy Jared Jacobs of what prompted the high-speed pursuit. “He fled the scene, nearly striking a sheriff’s department vehicle.”
The deputies followed the 2005 Dodge Caravan as it left the store parking lot. The suspect floored the mini-van when he saw he was being chased.
“The vehicle reached speeds in excess of 90 mph,” Jacobs said. “He passed numerous vehicles on double yellow lines.”
Jacobs said while they were chasing the suspect, officers received word there was a child in the vehicle.
“We made the decision to stop the pursuit due to the safety of the child and public at large after the vehicle nearly caused several wrecks,” Jacobs said.
Along with the possibility Russell was conducting a drug deal when he was spotted by deputies, it was discovered another reason he may have been fleeing was that his license was revoked for numerous driving offenses, including charges of running from the law.