Man accused of flipping off Racine deputies while leading them on 100 mph chase

NOW: Man accused of flipping off Racine deputies while leading them on 100 mph chase

RACINE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Racine County Sheriff’s Department says legal marijuana in Illinois is part of the reason its deputies are seeing more marijuana cases.

Nolan Gurdak, a man from Chicago, is accused of leading deputies on a high-speed chase Thursday on I-94.

Police say when he stopped about three miles from where the pursuit began, they found 14.5 grams of marijuana in his vehicle.

Gurdak was cited with an OWI.

His criminal complaint says the chase reached speeds of approximately 100 miles per hour, and Gurdak extended his middle finger out the window toward deputies.

“When you take somebody like this that’s weaving through traffic and creating a dangerous situation for people, our deputies need to respond and need to respond quickly,” said Lt. James Evans of the Racine County Sheriff’s Department.

The Sheriff’s Department handled 73 marijuana cases in January, up from 40 during January 2019.

Last month’s cases included 23 traffic stops on I-94 in which marijuana was found.

There were 11 of those in January 2019.

“Illinois’s legalization could play into it,” Evans said. “There’s a lot of factors but obviously the numbers are what they are. It shows the trend.”

Evans says drug recognition training has become more important for the department since Illinois made marijuana legal.

Gurdak was charged with a felony for attempting to flee officers, and misdemeanors for possession of marijuana and Xanax without a prescription.

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