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Florida Man Swallows 20 Rocks Of Crack, Leads Cops On Chase From Miami To Upper Keys

MONROE COUNTY (CBSMiami)- A Florida man led several officers and deputies on a chase from Miami to the Upper Keys on Tuesday.

According to Florida City Police, Mark Edward Welch, a 50-year-old from Lake Worth, was involved in a hit and run crash on the mainland and attempted escape towards the Keys.

While driving at Mile Marker 108 on U.S. 1, Monroe County Sheriff's deputies used road spikes to try and stop Welch's Jeep, but he kept driving south with the flat tires.

Welch eventually hit a concrete wall and came to a stop near the Jewfish Creek Bridge at Mile Marker 107.

Mark Edward Welch Mug
(Courtesy of Monroe County Sheriff's Office)

Welch ignored the deputies' commands to get out of the vehicle while they had their guns drawn on him. He was eventually taken into custody without any resistance. That's when he told the deputies there was a woman in the Jeep. However, when they looked there was no one there.

The deputies did, however, find a pipe with traces of cocaine.

Welch admitted he ingested 20 rocks of crack while on the chase and had been smoking crack cocaine since Tuesday morning, according to the sheriff's office. He said some of the rocks were still stuck in his throat and he was having trouble coughing them up.

Deputies took Welch to a hospital in Tavernier. Once he was released, deputies cuffed him and took him to jail.

Welch has been charged with DUI, eluding law enforcement and possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia.

Monroe County Sheriff's said at least three other law enforcement agencies were involved in the chase and more charges are expected to be filed against Welch.

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