NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, Texas (KETK) – Two men were identified after allegedly leading East Texas law enforcement on a chase and having 31 gallons of prescription medicine.
The pursuit spanned across Nacogdoches, Rusk and Panola Counties on Jan. 12, said the Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office.
Demarco Bell, 28, of Chicago, Illinois, and Jaylen Joshua Johnson, 22, of Indianapolis, Indiana, were arrested in connection to the chase. They were charged with evading arrest or detention, a felony, and possession of a dangerous drug, which is a class a misdemeanor. Police said they are still looking for a third suspect.
“We are focusing on those areas because they are trafficking routes which is why were are working them so hard. Our narcotics investigators and deputies are aware of that and we keep a close eye on that roadway,” said Tim Monzingo, Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office Communications Specialist.
The driver reportedly avoided spike strips during the chase. Authorities said the driver also swerved towards a deputy constable, and the deputy shot at the car.
The pursuit ended in Panola County near U.S. 59 and County Road 414.
“Inside the vehicle, investigators found three suitcases and three cardboard boxes packed with 252 one pint bottles of Promethazine, a prescription antihistamine medicine,” the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities said promethazine is combined with opioid cough medicine codeine and abused as a drug. The Promethazine that was seized did not have codeine, law enforcement said. It is also unknown how the men got the medicine.
“When Codeine is added to the promethazine, you can abuse that and get a street high from that medication… the codeine alone will give you quite a bit of a high,” said David Davis, pharmacy manager.
Bell and Johnson were booked into the Panola County Jail and were released after they posted bond. Law enforcement is still investigating, and the suspects could face other charges.
Ashlyn Anderson contributed to this report.