Matthew Stoecke's flashlight held cocaine, not batteries, deputies say

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - The detective unscrewed the back of Matthew Stoecker's flashlight, but he didn't find Energizer batteries. Out popped cocaine, instead.

After the 18-year-old Lake Worth man landed in jail on charges of marijuana and prescription pill possession, the discovery added 11 more charges to his arrest, according to a Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office report.

The path to Stoecker's arrest began with a disturbing call to police from Duffy's Sports Grill at 4746 N. Congress Ave. in Boynton Beach. There, in the parking lot, a group of men had encountered a menacing man who smashed the windshield of their car.

He then punched one of the men in the head several times before taking off in a gray Nissan Maxima.

The car passed a deputy, heading west on Hypoluxo Road at 90 miles an hour. The deputy flipped on his lights and pulled the car over.

As the deputy walked toward the car – occupied by four men – he said the strong odor of marijuana emanated from the window. The deputy then noticed the charred remains of a joint in the back seat ash tray.

The four men stepped out of the car and deputies searched the Maxima.

Popping open the trunk, deputies found a black bag emblazoned with a Crown Royal Liquor logo. Inside the bag, they found a marijuana-filled mason jar, a plastic pill bottle holding 11 Alprazolam tablets, a scale and flashlight.

A deputy asked the men who owned the bag. Stoecker claimed the bag.

Deputies immediately put him in handcuffs and booked him in the Palm Beach County Jail in lieu of $3,200 bond.

After putting Stoecker in a cell, a deputy took an inventory of the items taken from the car.

"When inventorying the flashlight, I unscrewed the back of it to search inside," the deputy wrote in the report. "Inside the flashlight, where the batteries would go, was 11 pieces of suspect rock cocaine."

The deputy then walked back to the booking desk, pulled up Stoecker's arrest report and added more charges.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments