standing Westerly Police Department Cruiser

WESTERLY — A local man is facing drug charges after officers seized fentanyl, Oxycodone, Xanax, a machete and nearly an ounce of marijuana on Saturday evening during a traffic stop for driving with improper registration.

The man, 39-year-old Mark F. Sacco, was taken into custody following the 6:15 p.m. traffic stop and charged with four counts of possession of a controlled substance and possession of a prohibited weapon other than a firearm. Sacco, of 4 Sacco Drive, was also cited with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and improper use of registration.

An officer attempted to initiate the traffic stop near the intersection of Charles Avenue and Franklin Street after an officer familiar with Sacco saw him driving a car with license plates belonging to a different vehicle with a suspended registration. The police said Sacco first accelerated to 50 mph and continued to Ocean Plaza before pulling in and stopping in front of the Subway restaurant.

A police report said as the officer began to approach the car, he could see Sacco attempting to conceal something. The officer, who was also alerted that Sacco had been arrested in Providence on Nov. 16 on charges that he was in possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, acted quickly to remove Sacco from the car.

The police said two others were with Sacco at the time, an unnamed adult who was not charged and Sacco’s 17-year-old son. Both were also initially detained for safety reasons, the police said, but were not charged.

A search of Sacco and the car led officers to find two grams of fentanyl, two pills of Oxycodone, two pills of the anxiety medication alprazolam and two additional pills of the anxiety medication Xanax. Officers also seized an orange machete with a 12-inch blade that Sacco had kept between the driver’s seat and center console and two mason jars containing 26 grams of marijuana.

Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the 17-year-old son, who was also known to police, was recently staying at a group home in Providence and had left without permission and never returned. He said the 17-year-old was released into the custody of his mother, who planned to take him back the following day.

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