A traffic stop in Moreland leads deputy to seize car, cash

Published 11:40 am Thursday, June 13, 2019

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MORELAND — A recent traffic stop in Moreland ended with the confiscation of a car and cash, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

The case unfolded on Sunday, June 2.

Deputy Michael Mullins pulled over a black 2012 Toyota Camry traveling north on U.S. 127 after receiving a BOLO (be on the lookout) in reference to a possible reckless driver. While responding to the BOLO, Mullins observed the northbound vehicle, being driven by Vijaykumar Patel, 43, of Naperville, Illinois, crossing the center line and continuing north in the southbound lane.

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When Mullins attempted to pull the vehicle over, Patel stopped then continued on before coming to a complete stop. As he made contact with the subject, Mullins said he detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Patel and observed the subject reaching into his pocket. As he directed Patel to remove his hand, Mullins noticed that his foot was still on the gas as the vehicle was in park.

Mullins conducted Standardized Field Sobriety Tests to determine if Patel was impaired. Patel, who admitted to drinking beers “this morning and last night,” could not complete the Walk and Turn or One Leg Stand tests and the Portable Breath Test indicated the presence of an alcoholic beverage.

A large sum of cash was found on Patel during the traffic stop and, according to the arrest citation, he said to Mullins, “I just pay you, and I get taxi and go to motel room. I have to open store in morning.”

Patel was charged with five different offenses and lodged in the Lincoln County Regional Jail. He was charged with operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol/drugs/etc., .08 (Aggravating Circumstances) 1st Offense, Wanton Endangerment 2nd Degree, Reckless Driving, No Registration Receipt and No Registration Plates. Blood: not requested. Urine: not requested. Breath: 0.228.

It was during the booking process that the stop took a different turn, as the Liberty Police Department called to advise that Patel had taken money and a car from a gas station in Liberty. The LPD requested Mullins seize the money, a cell phone and the vehicle.

An adult passenger in the car was not charged.