A former Pasco County deputy has been arrested again for conduct while on duty, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Chris Nocco held a press conference on Friday morning at 10 a.m. to release more information about the arrest.
Joseph Mercado, 25, was terminated from the Sheriff's Office after he was arrested on February 28, 2018 for inappropriately touching a woman against her will and placing his semen on her. Mercado was charged with battery.
Mercado was arrested on February 28th without incident.
The Sheriff released a statement about the incident:
"The Pasco Sheriff's Office ensures discipline is paramount in our organization. The allegations were investigated, he was arrested and terminated."
After the simple battery arrest, information started coming out Mercado's past with the Sheriff's Office. The Pasco County Sheriff's Office investigated the information. On December 8, 2017, Mercado arrested an individual in front of a home on Catalonia Drive for methamphetamine. When examining evidence he found a bag that contained methamphetamine, syringes and other items. Surveillance video shows Mercado throw the bag over a fence and the homeowner of the house on that property destroyed the bag and accused the arrested suspect of setting him up. The suspect told the homeowner that the Sheriff's Office set him up when Mercado threw the bag over the fence.
The district captain involved in this case resigned from his position after reports of a failure to investigate Deputy Mercado and bring the situation to the attention of internal affairs.
Mercado was arrested for tampering with evidence on March 15th in relation to the incident that occurred on December 8, 2017.
Mercado was one of the deputies featured on A&E's show "Live PD."
The Sheriff's Office included him in a Twitter video on September 27, 2016 highlighting why he wears the badge.
— Pasco Sheriff (@PascoSheriff) September 27, 2016