By Ryan Yousefi
Three men who later admitted to having been high on cocaine and heroin during the incident were arrested and charged with multiple crimes varying from drug possession to trespassing and prowling after Broward County Sheriff’s deputies observed the trio casing the Parkland area at 3:00 a.m. in a U-Haul truck.
On February 24, a group of three individuals, later identified as Justin Swanson, 32, of Coconut Creek, William Estep, 54, of Parkland, and John William Fulks of Deerfield Beach, were found prowling the Parkland area in a U-Haul truck, possibly, according to authorities, in search of appliances recently installed in homes still under construction.
According to the arrest reports, the incident began when a suspicious U-Haul truck was reported heading westbound on Loxahatchee Road. Deputies near the area later located the truck at the Falls Community located at 7400 Loxahatchee Road but lost sight of it shortly after that.
Following a search, deputies again located the U-Haul leaving the Parkland Bay community and heading east on Hillsboro Blvd.
The report says as part of the investigation, deputies spoke with the security officer at the Parkland Bay gatehouse, who stated that the driver, later identified as Swanson, had attempted to enter the community without proper identification, telling the security, “I just had to get in here,” before being denied and leaving.
The report states that deputies followed the U-Haul until they could eventually conduct a traffic stop due to a traffic violation at Nob Hill Road and Hillsboro Boulevard.
During the stop, deputies in the arrest report note Swanson admitted to not having a driver’s license. They voluntarily disclosed the presence of a “weed bowl” in his front left pocket while being frisked for weapons.
Deputies detailed in the arrest report that a burnt tin foil was found in his right front pocket.
The arrest report said further investigation revealed that Estep had initially provided a false name. A teletype check revealed that he had active warrants for prior instances of driving without a license, petit theft, and resisting without violence. Fulks also had an active warrant for DWLS.
During interviews, all three men claimed they were in the city of Parkland to help a person move. However, they could not identify the person or provide a specific location, nor why the move would occur in the middle of the night.
They were charged with loitering and prowling due to the circumstances of the stop and the multiple attempts to enter two construction zones known to be targeted for theft of appliances.
The arrest report said during an inventory search of the U-Haul, a small white rock substance suspected to be cocaine was found in the glove box, which later tested positive for a cocaine test kit.
In addition, the report states Estep was holding a coffee cup with a glass pipe inside.
All three men were detained and placed in the backseat of a deputy’s vehicle, where they confessed to smoking the cocaine and heroin found on their persons before being stopped by law enforcement.
Swanson, Estep, and Fulks were arrested and transported to the Broward County Main Jail.
- Ryan Yousefi has lived in Coral Springs for over 30 years. He has worked as a writer for multiples outlets over the years, including the Miami New Times where he has covered sports and culture since 2013. He holds a Bachelor's Degree and a Master's Degree in Business Healthcare Management from Western Governors University.
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