A 47-year-old man has been charged with felony drug possession after deputies from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office allegedly found approximately 80 grams of cocaine in his vehicle during a routine traffic stop on Aug. 8. The seized drugs have a street value of about $8,000 according to media reports. Records checks are said to have revealed that the man was once sentenced to almost 10 years in prison for crimes including possessing and selling cocaine and trafficking hydrocodone.
According to a MCSO report, two deputies were on patrol on U.S. Route 301 when they observed a southbound vehicle traveling at speeds approaching 85 mph on a stretch of road with a posted speed limit of 65 mph. The traffic stop escalated when one of two police dogs sniffing the air around the vehicle alerted near the driver’s door. Deputies say that this made the man behind the wheel extremely nervous.
In addition to a quantity of cocaine sufficient to constitute trafficking under Florida law, deputies say that they discovered $11,000 in cash and 14 Viagra pills during their search of the vehicle. The man was taken into custody at the scene and has been charged with trafficking between 28 and 150 grams of cocaine and possessing drugs without a prescription. Reports indicate that he is being detained at the Marion County Jail, and his bond has been set at $51,000.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys may pay particular attention to police reports when presented with facts like these in cases involving serious drug charges. Law enforcement officers must have probable cause to believe that evidence of criminal activity will be discovered before conducting searches without first obtaining a warrant, and the Supreme Court has ruled that traffic stops cannot be prolonged to allow police dogs to arrive to provide that probable cause.
Source: Click Orlando, Florida man arrested during traffic stop with 80 grams of cocaine, deputies say, Ashley Garrett, Aug. 9, 2018Source: The Miami Herald, He got pulled over for speeding 25 mph over the limit. Then cops looked inside the car, Madeleine Marr, Aug. 10, 2018Source: The Supreme Court of the United States, Rodriguez v. United States