PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (January 7, 2020) — A man from North Port was arrested after deputies from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office found drugs and two handguns in his possession after police encountered him in a parking lot around 4:00 a.m. According to an article appearing on the NBC-2 website, the sheriff’s deputies found cocaine, fentanyl, THC oil, LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), and two bags of marijuana. The deputies also seized a significant amount of cash for which the suspect had no explanation as to why he had it and how he obtained it. The 33-year-old suspect from North Port now faces serious charges such as being a felon in possession of a firearm and trafficking in fentanyl of more than four grams. *
Port Charlotte deputies encountered the male while he was sitting in a car located in a Sunnydell Plaza in Port Charlotte. All stores appeared to be closed. However, the man in the car told deputies that he was going to pay a bond for his girlfriend. The deputies then escorted the male upstairs to the bond office. The office was closed, and there were no females in the area.
The inaccuracy of the information provided by the man aroused the suspicions of the investigating deputies. The deputy noted that the man emitted a smell of burned marijuana from his person as they walked together. As a result, the deputies asked for the man’s medical marijuana card. He did not produce one.
The deputies patted down the man and located an eyeglass case. They inspected the eyeglass case and found two bags of a white powdery substance that tested positive for a mixture of cocaine and fentanyl. The deputies also found a large wad of cash on the man. He could not provide a credible explanation as to how the man came into possession of such a large sum.
The deputies next turned their attention to the man’s vehicle in the parking lot. The deputies searched the vehicle and found nine additional bags of cocaine and fentanyl mixture, a pill bottle with cocaine stored in it, another pill bottle with THC oil, MDMA, LSD, and marijuana. The police seized two firearms as well. They did not specify where in the car they located the contraband.
Deputies placed the man under arrest and brought charges for trafficking fentanyl, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana.
Selling or delivering ten or more grams of narcotics is a first-degree felony under Florida Statutes 893.13. Section 893.13 indicates that a person guilty of violating this section within 1,000 feet of a school or another protected educational facility for children must serve a three-year minimum-mandatory prison sentence.
Similarly, selling or delivering narcotics within 1,000 feet of a church or other place of worship is also a first-degree felony concerning dangerous drugs like opioids and cocaine. The person convicted of violating this section may serve up to 30 years in the state penitentiary. Also, delivering or selling dangerous narcotics within 1,000 feet of a public housing facility is also a first-degree felony.