Convicted felon caught with stolen gun after low-speed chase in Marion County

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A traffic stop in Marion County Thursday morning turned into a low-speed pursuit that landed a convicted felon back behind bars.

According to the sheriff’s office, a Marion County deputy and trainee were on patrol along East Highway 316 in Fort McCoy around 2 a.m. when they attempted to stop a blue Ford Escape for speeding.

Deputies say the driver refused to stop and fled for several more miles at a low speed.

The sheriff’s office shared dashcam video in which the deputy can be heard on his in-car PA system ordering the driver to pull over.

“Stop that car or you’re going to jail,” Deputy Brandon Bradish can be heard saying over the PA system. “Stop the car!”

According to the sheriff’s office, the SUV eventually came to a stop in the 16400 block of NE 137th Terrace where the driver, identified as 36-year-old Joseph South, was taken into custody.

After three other people were removed from the vehicle, deputies searched it and found drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Deputies say they also discovered two guns in a hidden space behind the SUV’s glove compartment. One of the guns had been reported stolen out of the city of Ocala, according to the sheriff’s office.

Deputies say South, a convicted felon, was found to be the one who was in possession of the stolen gun.

South faces a long list of charges that includes fleeing a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, grand theft of a firearm and driving on a suspended license. He’s being held in the Marion County Jail on a total of $14,000 bond.

A second man in the vehicle, identified as 19-year-old Jacob Lovett of Fort McCoy, was charged with possession of the drugs and drug paraphernalia as well as two counts of violating his probation. He’s being held in the Marion County Jail on no bond.

The other occupants of the SUV were not charged.

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