An Embden man, who police allege led them on a brief chase last week, is facing additional charges after police say they executed a search warrant of his home.

Authorities found drugs and paraphernalia following his arrest on allegations last week he stole a vehicle and led them on a chase.

Somerset County Sheriff Dale P. Lancaster said that as a result of the ongoing investigation, a search warrant was obtained and executed at the home at 342 Bert Berry Road in Embden.

Michael M. Thomas, 26, was initially charged with operating after suspension as a habitual offender, theft by unauthorized taking, eluding a police officer, failure to stop, driving to endanger and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. As a result of the search warrant, Thomas now faces additional charges that include aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs and two counts of possession of scheduled drugs.

The incidents began last Thursday morning around 7:30 a.m. in Concord, according to Somerset County Chief Deputy Michael O. Mitchell, who said at the time that a resident of Jackson Pond Road reported her 2002 Ford pickup truck missing.

Before a deputy arrived at her house, the owner of the pickup contacted a dispatcher to say that she had located the truck in traffic and had began following it but did not recognize the driver.


Shortly after, the driver, later identified as Thomas, pulled the vehicle into a ditch. He left the truck behind, carrying a handgun and walked to another residence. Thomas allegedly took another car, a Buick sedan, though it is still unclear whether he had permission to use that car.

A deputy soon found Thomas and the Buick that he was operating and a high-speed chase ensued when the deputy turned on his flashing lights and siren. During the chase, Thomas reportedly increased his speed, drove erratically in the oncoming lane and threw a handgun out a passenger-side window.

The deputy lost the vehicle but then located it shortly after, unoccupied, in an empty parking lot on Murray Street in Bingham. Thomas was later found trespassing in a nearby residence and arrested shortly after 9:30 a.m.

“As a result of the ongoing investigation that initiated from the stolen vehicle complaint earlier that day in Concord, a search warrant was obtained,” Lancaster said in a news release. “At approximately 1:30 p.m., Detective David Cole led a team of 7 Deputies and the Sheriff’s Office K-9 in execution of the search warrant at the residence of Michael Thomas.”

Located during the search was more than 7 grams of fentanyl powder, more than 12 grams of cocaine and “numerous items of drug-related paraphernalia,” including digital scales and packaging materials.

“The search was a result of a culmination of evidence that was discovered during the investigation,” Lancaster said.

Thomas is being held at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison and the case is being forwarded to the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office for review. Thomas is due to appear in the Somerset County Unified Criminal Court on Nov. 3.

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