Drug suspect confessed before stealing police recording device and flushing it down toilet

"Tighten up on your job, homie." That's what 30-year-old Patrick Townsend said while saluting a Polk County sheriff's detective after he flushed a digital recorder containing his confession down a toilet in the sheriff's substation.

Townsend, who lives in Lakeland, Florida, was arrested on Wednesday after a deputy found 32.4 grams of methamphetamine in his boxers during a traffic stop for not wearing a seat belt. Before being transferred to the substation, Townsend told the deputy, "Dude, that ain't -----. I deal with keys (kilos)," and went into detail about the grade and types of methamphetamine the deputy found.

A recording was taken of Townsend's confession, and the digital recorder was placed on a desk in the lobby of the substation. When no one was looking, Townsend grabbed the recorder, tucked it in his armpit and asked to go to the bathroom. After hurriedly flushing the device down the toilet, Townsend, who was handcuffed in the front, was escorted back to the lobby, where Detective Justin Starr was searching for his recorder.

Deputies say Townsend looked into Starr's face and said, "What are you looking for, Starr, your recorder?" and winked at the detective. When confronted about taking the recorder, Townsend admitted to what he had done. "You know what, Starr? I learned something today," Townsend said. "I will never incriminate myself again." Townsend is being held in the Polk County Jail without bail, charged with trafficking meth, possession of cannabis and destroying evidence, among other charges.