Florida deputies bust driver for allegedly modifying registration decal with permanent marker

What started as a traffic stop for a man going 10 mph over the speed limit ended with an arrest after deputies discovered that the unlicensed driver allegedly carrying meth used a permanent marker to change the expiration date on his registration decal. 

Edgardo Castillo Cruz, 35, was arrested and charged with failure to register a motor vehicle, knowingly driving with a suspended license, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of methamphetamine after the incident that unfolded on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office. 

Photo: Flagler County Sheriff's Office

Deputies pulled Castillo Cruz over in his Honda Civic just after noon when he was clocked going 70 in a 60 mph zone. That's when a deputy noticed that the expiration date on the registration decal sticker was modified with a permanent marker. It was allegedly modified to expire in December 2024, as seen in a photo provided by the sheriff's office. 

Photo: Flagler County Sheriff's Office

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During the traffic stop, the man from DeLeon Springs said he didn't have a valid Florida driver's license because he had recently moved here from California. Deputies ran his name and date of birth and found no record of a California license. What they did discover is that Castillo Cruz has had his Florida license suspended four times in the past three years, according to the Flagler County Sheriff's Office. 

Deputies also found that the registration tag attached to the Honda Civic actually belongs to a Chevy truck. 

"Castillo Cruz admitted to taking the tag from a friend’s vehicle without their knowledge," the Flagler County Sheriff's Office said. "The Honda Civic has never been registered."

Furthermore, deputies found a small glass jar filled with 3.4 grams of a crystal-like substance in the car's glove box that tested presumptive positive for meth, and a Mexican passport issued to Castillo Cruz. 

Photo: Flagler County Sheriff's Office

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"Nice try but no cigar," said Sheriff Rick Staly. "A little creative doodling and a pack of lies about license and registration didn’t fool our deputies and earned him a stay at the Green Roof Inn. Rapid ID technology confirmed the identify of this unlicensed driver, but his decision to illegally drive through Flagler County with illegal substances is what landed him straight in jail."

Castillo Cruz was arrested and transported to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility, where he remains on $4,000 bond.