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Pinellas deputies: Undercover drug buy leads to chase, child neglect charges

ST. PETERSBURG — Undercover Pinellas sheriff's detectives were wrapping up for their operations early Tuesday when a man pulled up and tried to bum a cigarette.

Then the man tried to sell them the prescription painkiller oxycodone, deputies said. They identified themselves as law enforcement officers and tried to pull him out of the vehicle.

Steven Mark Marcotte took off in his minivan with an unrestrained 3-year-old girl in the backseat, deputies said.

He didn't get far: After a brief chase, deputies boxed in the fleeing minivan on Interstate 275, they said, and Marcotte put up a fight when they tried to arrest him.

Marcotte, 28, was arrested on charges of aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer, neglect of a child, fleeing or eluding, resisting an officer with violence, tampering with physical evidence, driving with a license suspended or revoked, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

The alleged drug buy took place around 1 a.m. in the area of 38th Avenue N and 34th Street N, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. But they didn't seek out Marcotte. He unknowingly found them, deputies said.

He tried to sell them five pills at $15 apiece, deputies said. But when the deputies identified themselves he drove off, according to a report, hitting one of them with his driver's side door.

The brief chase ended in the area of I-275 and 22nd Avenue N, deputies said. But Marcotte threw some punches and had to be "forcibly removed from his vehicle," deputies said.

What happened to the drugs? Deputies couldn't find the pills on him. Marcotte first told them he swallowed the pills and said he wasn't feeling good. When paramedics examined him, Marcotte then denied taking the pills and refused to answer questions. But deputies said they did find a blue straw with oxycodone residue on it.

The girl, whose identity is being withheld because of her age, was apparently unharmed. Marcotte had his license suspended in 2003 and twice in 2007. A judge declared him a habitual traffic offender.

Marcotte, of 6888 49th Ave. N, was being held at the Pinellas County jail Wednesday in lieu of $60,150 bail.

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Pinellas deputies: Undercover drug buy leads to chase, child neglect charges 10/27/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 27, 2010 3:10pm]
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