An Ocala man with multiple license suspensions and drugs in his vehicle was arrested Tuesday at the Summerfield Wal-Mart.
A Marion County sheriff’s deputy was patrolling the parking lot of the store, located at 17961 S U.S. Hwy. 27/441, when he spotted a beige Pontiac Bonneville in a parking space with the front doors hanging open. He conducted a computer check on the vehicle’s tag and discovered that it had expired on Oct. 13, 2018 and the registered owner, 48-year-old Daniel Edward Johnson, had a suspended driver’s license.
The deputy saw the vehicle pull out of the parking space and drive north through the parking lot. But when he pulled in behind it, Johnson immediately pulled down an aisle. The deputy initiated a traffic stop and Johnson pulled into a parking spot, a sheriff’s office report states.
Johnson climbed out of the driver’s seat and when the deputy instructed him to get back inside the car, he sat down in the backseat. When asked why he had gotten out of the driver’s seat, Johnson claimed he wasn’t the driver, the report says.
Another criminal background check showed that Johnson had five suspensions on his license – four for failure to pay a financial responsibility (July 18, 2018; Sept. 4, 2018 and two on April 25) and one for failure to pay a traffic fine (Dec. 26, 2018). It also showed that Johnson had seven prior driving while license suspended convictions out of Marion County – Jan. 12, 1994; March 8, 1995; April 24, 1996; Sept. 30, 1999; Jan. 9, 2009; Jan. 16, 2016 and May 22, 2017.
The deputy searched Johnson’s vehicle and found three glass pipes with white residue on them that tested positive for methamphetamine, a digital scale and a piece of aluminum foil. Johnson said he “loans his vehicle out” and denied ownership or knowledge of the drug paraphernalia, the report says.
Johnson also claimed that he wasn’t the one who drove the vehicle to the Summerfield Wal-Mart, though he couldn’t provide a name or description of the supposed driver. And a backseat passenger said Johnson was the driver and no one else in the vehicle, the report says.
Johnson, who lives at 9 Hemlock Trace Ln. in Ocala, was taken into custody and transported to the Marion County Jail, where he was charged with driving while license suspended (third or subsequent offense) and possession of drug equipment. He was being held on no bond and is due in court Aug. 20 at 9 a.m. to answer to the charges.