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Washington man faces controlled substance charges

by LAUREN REICHENBACH
Staff Writer | June 1, 2023 1:00 AM

A Washington man was arrested last week in Bonner County on charges of possession of multiple controlled substances and reckless driving.

The charges stem from a May 23 traffic stop in which a Bonner County Sheriff’s deputy was advised that a reckless driver was headed in his direction. According to court records, the deputy saw the vehicle approaching a few minutes later, swerving across all lanes of traffic as well as almost hitting the cement barrier on the outer edge of the road. As the vehicle approached, it drifted into oncoming traffic, almost causing a head-on collision with the deputy, according to court records.

When he turned around and activated his lights, the deputy said in the probable cause affidavit that the vehicle appeared to quickly accelerate as if it were going to drive off before slowing down and pulling over.

“[The driver] appeared a bit lethargic, his hands were tremoring, nervous, body swaying, sluggish, thick speech and appeared confused,” the deputy wrote in the probable cause affidavit.

Cristiano Macaluso of Chatteroy, Wash., allegedly told the deputy he was diabetic. Emergency services were called to the scene but gave Macaluso a clean bill of health, court records indicate.

When asked if there were any drugs in the vehicle, court records contend Macaluso told the deputy he had a THC vape pen, which he handed over. The deputy informed Macaluso that he would be searching the vehicle, at which point court records said Macaluso used his key fob to lock the truck. The deputy tried to take the keys from the man but he pulled away and tried to keep law enforcement from gaining access to the vehicle, the probable cause affidavit said.

After obtaining the keys and unlocking the vehicle, deputies found numerous paraphernalia items throughout the truck. According to court records: In the center console, deputies allegedly found foil with a brown substance and burn residue on it; several baggies with residue and straws were allegedly found in the ashtray; and behind the center console allegedly was a bag containing a pipe with white residue as well as another bag with numerous straws.

On Macaluso’s person, deputies allegedly found approximately 30 blue pills known as “mexi” or “blues,” according to court records.

“These pills are oxycodone and also contain fentanyl,” a deputy wrote in the probable cause affidavit.

The glass pipe tested positive for meth, the blue pills tested positive for oxycodone and fentanyl and the brown substance is still being tested for heroin, according to court records.

Three sobriety tests were administered and Macaluso allegedly failed two of them according to court records. Other tests were administered but were rendered incomplete due to Macaluso’s refusal to cooperate with law enforcement.

Macaluso was arrested for three counts of possession of a controlled substance, reckless driving and possession of drug paraphernalia. His bail is set at $50,000 and a preliminary hearing will be June 7.