Tolono man faces DUI, drug charges

Tolono man faces DUI, drug charges

URBANA — A Tolono man arrested Friday night for allegedly driving under the influence was criminally charged Wednesday with that offense as well as possession of Ecstasy.

University of Illinois police Sgt. Joe McCullough said that as he was talking to Micah S. Johnson, 19, during the stop, he could see Johnson falling under the effects of recently ingested MDMA,

About 11 p.m. Friday, McCullough stopped Johnson's car near Lincoln Avenue and Green Street for allegedly failing to signal a lane change. As he approached, McCullough said there was movement inside the car which included Johnson and five passengers.

A narcotics dog on the stop alerted to the presence of drugs.

McCullough said he asked Johnson for permission to search his pockets, which Johnson agreed to. In the first pocket McCullough checked, he found a bag containing what he described as a crystallized form of MDMA, also known as Molly, or Ecstasy. McCullough is assigned to the department's narcotics task force.

"As our conversation continued, he began to sweat profusely and his eyes became extremely dilated. He admitted taking half the dose prior to driving," said McCullough, estimating based on his observations that Johnson had probably ingested the drug 15 to 20 minutes before the stop.

"At one point, he had to be helped to a sitting position on the ground," said McCullough.

A search of the car turned up open alcohol, empty plastic bags with cannabis residue and a cup with less than a gram of cannabis.

McCullough said Johnson admitted he had consumed alcohol and taken Molly before driving.

He was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a felony, and two counts of driving under the influence of a drug or other intoxicating compound, a misdemeanor.

McCullough said Johnson's passengers were apparently unaware he had taken the drug.

"It was scary for the passengers once they found out. If he had just taken it prior to driving, the indicators wouldn't have been present immediately. They had asked him for a ride to a friend's. We stopped him couple blocks from his destination," the officer said.

Johnson was given to Sept. 10 to hire his own attorney.

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