NEWBERRY ‒ Joseph Michael Tugman, 26, of Newberry, was arrested on March 12, 2023 at approximately 12:25 a.m. and charged with drug possession and carrying a concealed firearm after a deputy reportedly found him asleep in a parked car with the engine running.

W Joseph Michael TugmanAn Alachua County Sheriff’s deputy made contact with Tugman after he observed a silver Toyota sedan parked with its lights on and engine running just outside the entrance to the bus loop at Oak View Middle School in Newberry.

The deputy made announcements over his patrol car’s PA system for the driver to get out of the car, but there was no response. Approaching the car, he reportedly saw a male, later identified as Tugman, in the driver’s seat, apparently asleep. The deputy awakened the man by knocking on the passenger side window and Tugman was asked to get out of the car.

The deputy reported that Tugman had a large fixed-blade knife visible on his belt and that Tugman denied having any other weapons and gave consent to search his person. Deputies reportedly found a loaded .38 revolver in an inside-waistband holster, about one gram of cocaine, and about 0.7 grams of methamphetamine.

Post Miranda, Tugman reportedly said he didn’t know what the substances were and admitted he did not have a valid concealed weapon permit.

Tugman has been charged with carrying a concealed firearm without a permit, committing a third-degree felony while armed, cocaine possession, and possession of a controlled substance. Bail was set on first appearance at $25,000 by Judge Denise R. Ferrero.

Currently, Tugman is not listed as being in the Alachua County Jail.

Tugman was arrested in 2015 and charged with stealing an iPod, a BB gun, and a revolver from a neighbor and pawning the items. He entered a plea of nolo contendere to five felonies in exchange for one year of community control, followed by four years of probation; adjudication of guilt was withheld. In 2018, he requested early termination of his probation and thanked the judge in advance for giving him a “second chance.” The probation was terminated shortly thereafter.

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