31 gallons of medicine seized, two charged in pursuit

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, Texas – The Nacogdoches County Sheriff’s Office seized more than 31 gallons of prescription medicine following a high-speed chase that spanned multiple counties. Demarco Bell, 28, of Chicago, Illinois, and Jaylen Joshua Johnson, 22, of Indianapolis, Indiana, were both
arrested following the pursuit. They both face state-jail felony charges for evading arrest or detention and Class A Misdemeanor charges for possession of a dangerous drug. A third suspect who evaded arrest is currently being sought.
Around 7:46 a.m. on Jan. 12, NCSO deputies initiated a traffic stop on a black Hyundai Sonata in the 8700 block of U.S. 259 N.
The driver of the car failed to stop, and accelerated away from deputies, quickly reaching speeds of more than 100 mph. The driver fled north on U.S. 259 as deputies and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers pursued the vehicle, which crossed into Rusk County. The driver turned on to state Hwy. 315 in Rusk County as Rusk County law enforcement officials attempted to intervene in the pursuit and stop the driver. The driver reached 115 mph while evading arrest as he headed towards Panola County. Constables and in Panola County deployed spike strips in an attempt to stop the vehicle, but the driver was able to avoid them. At one point, the driver swerved towards a Panola County deputy constable, who fired at the vehicle.
The pursuit continued into downtown Carthage, where the vehicle briefly came to a stop and two suspects fled on foot. One of the individuals was apprehended, but a third individual continued to evade law enforcement in the vehicle, despite having multiple deflated tires. The chase continued southbound on U.S. 59 to through Tenaha and into Timpson before the driver stopped near the intersection of U.S. 59 and CR 414 in Panola County, where the driver was taken into
custody. Inside the vehicle, investigators found three suitcases and three cardboard boxes packed with 252 one pint bottles of Promethazine, a prescription antihistamine medicine. Promethazine is sometimes mixed with the opioid cough medicine codeine. This combination is often abused. The Promethazine seized following the pursuit did not contain codeine, initial field tests showed. How the suspects obtained the medicine is unclear at this time. Bell and Johnson were booked into the Panola County jail on charges from both Nacogdoches County and Panola County. Both have since bonded out. Bell bonded out on Jan. 14 and Johnson on Jan. 17.
The investigation into the case is ongoing and additional charges are possible.