YAPHANK, NY — The driver of a car that sped away from deputy sheriffs on the Long Island Expressway before crashing nearby was arrested at his home in Yaphank on Wednesday after being at large for five days, Suffolk Sheriff Errol Toulon’s office said.
An “extensive investigation” was conducted by the Criminal Investigations Bureau, including evidence collected at the scene and security camera video, and led investigators to 20-year-old Daniel Mason, who was arrested as he left his home by deputies who were conducting surveillance, the office said.
Deputies were traveling westbound on the Long Island Expressway, east of Exit 67 in a marked unit just before 4 p.m., when they saw a 2020 Mazda with Georgia license plates speeding and two males inside, according to Toulon’s office.
The Mazda was stopped, and while approaching, it sped away, and then left the LIE at Exit 65 before crashing into a telephone pole at the corner of Falcon Avenue in Medford, his office said, adding that the front seat passenger, Edward Smith, 20, of Yaphank, ran away and was caught a short distance away, but the driver got away.
The deputies found drugs, including over three grams each of fentanyl and heroin, as well as over six grams of crack cocaine, 14 suboxone pills, “a small quantity” of marijuana, a stun gun, and $3,240 “in the [Mazda] and on the scene,” Toulon’s office said.
Mason was charged with five counts of third-degree possession of a controlled substance, one count of fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, one count of third-degree unlawful fleeing a of police officer in a motor vehicle, and one count of reckless driving, a misdemeanor, according to Toulon’s office.
Smith was charged with three counts of third-degree possession of a controlled substance and one count of fifth-degree possession of a controlled substance, said Toulon’s office, adding that the Mazda has been impounded and an investigation is ongoing.
The vehicle from the original incident has been impounded and an investigation is ongoing, including the processing of the vehicle, Toulon’s office said.
In a statement after the initial incident, Toulon commended his deputies.
“Suffolk County deputy sheriffs are patrolling our county’s roads day and night to keep the public safe,” he said. “A seemingly straightforward traffic stop for speeding can turn into a dangerous situation for the deputies and the public when the driver attempts to flee. In this case, thankfully, no one was seriously injured and deputies took dangerous drugs off the streets. I thank my deputies for their hard work.”
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