A 42-year-old convicted felon living in Flagler Beach is arrested for the 15th time in October

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A 42-year-old convicted felon living in Flagler Beach is back in the Green Roof Inn after the Problem Area Crime Enforcement (PACE) Unit Sergeant while on proactive patrol found him ina vehicle with a large knife within his reach and with drugs in his possession and hidden in his underwear, including fentanyl and methamphetamine.

Stephen Joel Horton now faces four felony charges from the Flagler County Sheriff's Office (FCSO) following his arrest just before 8:00 p.m. Thursday (October 20, 2022) during a traffic stop on State Road 100 near Colbert Lane in Palm Coast.

Horton’s arrest is the latest from FCSO’s PACE Unit, a team dedicated to focus on CRIMEMAPS-identified crime trends and deterring criminal behavior.

In this case, a PACE deputy spotted Horton behind the wheel of a Nissan Rogue as he was driving slowly behind businesses located in Flagler Plaza in Palm Coast. The Sergeant eventually pulled Horton over after Horton committed a traffic violation.

“This kind of effort is why I’m proud of our PACE team,” said Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly. “We’re not just waiting around for people to commit crimes. They are a dedicated, proactive team that has a successful track record by focusing on crime trends. We’re seeking out offenders and putting them in the Green Roof Inn before they can commit a more serious crime. In this case, | hope this addict will decide to change his lifestyle before he dies of an overdose.”

Sergeant Daniel Weaver initially discovered Horton around 7:40 p.m. behind the businesses on Flagler Plaza Drive and followed Horton as he drove away traveling eastbound on State Road 100. Horton then drove his Nissan 55 miles per hour through a construction zone with a 35 mile-per-hour posted speed limit and changed lanes directly in front of the unmarked patrol vehicle, forcing the deputy to brake to avoid a crash. Horton was then stopped for his traffic violations.

Horton eventually pulled over on State Road 100 near Colbert Lane, but while he was doing that, Sergeant Weaver noticed the Nissan rocking back and forth as if someone was moving around rapidly inside the vehicle. When Sergeant Weaver contacted Horton in the vehicle, he saw a large blade sheath tucked between the driver’s seat and the center console. Horton also appeared nervous and Sergeant Weaver asked Horton to exit the vehicle. As the driver’s door opened, Sergeant Weaver noticed a piece of burnt tin foil consistent with drug use in the door’s map pocket and a large butcher knife on the driver’s floorboard that Horton claimed was used for cutting sod.

During a search of Horton’s person, Sergeant Weaver felt a solid object near Horton’s groin area. A small metal tin with three clear plastic baggies inside was found and contained less than a gram of methamphetamine inside one of the baggies while another had residue traces of fentanyl. A search of the vehicle turned up drug paraphernalia, including a red straw with burnt ends and a green tube with white powder residue inside.

Horton was taken to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility and booked on six total charges, including felonies of evidence tampering, possession of fentanyl, possession of methamphetamine and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon. He’s held on $11,000 bond.

This is the ninth time Horton has been booked at the Green Roof Inn since 2017 and the fourth time he’s been booked so far this year, mainly on drug-related charges. Horton has multiple felony convictions in his past, including grand theft in June 2021.

Among the charges Horton has been booked for in Flagler County are eight total counts of possession of drug paraphernalia over multiple incidents (including the one from last night), possession of methamphetamine in a separate incident (May 2022), four probation violations, fleeing and eluding law enforcement, illegal dumping, altering/destroying/concealing physical evidence, resisting an officer, failure to obtain a permit as required by law and carrying a concealed weapon.

From January through September of this year, FCSO’s PACE Unit has made 147 arrests. The PACE unit has also seized $14,208 in cash, 1,190 grams of cannabis, 87.8 grams of fentanyl, 23.5 grams of methamphetamine and 16.8 grams of cocaine so far this year.

In October alone, FCSO’s PACE Unit has made 15 arrests and seized two firearms along with 16.6 grams of mushrooms (psilocybin), 14.8 grams of cannabis, 3.5 grams of fentanyl, 2.5 grams of methamphetamines and 1.5 grams of MDMA.

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