A Conecuh County man was arrested Monday night (February 19) on misdemeanor drug charges after he drove his car off U.S. 31 and down a grassy slope.
According to reports filed by Alabama State Troopers, 25-year-old Mario Gomez-Moncada of Castleberry “drove his 1989 Grand Marquis off of the roadway and became stuck in the soft terrain.”
The single-vehicle mishap occurred a few minutes prior to 9 p.m., a few yards past the highway’s westernmost junction with James Road, in the Nokomis community.
Atmore police officers and an Atmore Fire Department unit responded to the crash site, along with firefighters from Nokomis Volunteer Fire Department. The AFD unit was sent back to its station, and the Nokomis volunteers directed traffic around the emergency vehicles and personnel as the two-lane blacktop became a single lane for several yards.
Moncada, unhurt but with his pants legs and boots covered in mud, failed several roadside sobriety tests administered by city police officers and was placed in cuffs while local authorities awaited the arrival of a state trooper.
His car remained bogged in the wet grass, about 45 feet below the roadway, until a tow truck arrived to wench it out.
During questioning by APD officers, the disoriented driver repeated several times that he “had not had anything (alcoholic) to drink.” Apparently he was telling the truth.
Lawmen discovered an unspecified quantity of marijuana, and Moncada was charged with second-degree possession of the illegal weed, indicating that the amount was small enough to be deemed for his personal use.
According to Alabama Criminal Code Subsection 13A-12-214, possession of marijuana in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor that is punishable upon conviction or guilty plea by not more than a year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000.