A routine traffic stop in Florida led to the discovery of illegal drugs worth more than a million dollars according to a representative from the Gulf County Sheriff's Office. GCSO deputies allegedly discovered the drug haul after pulling over a Kia van on Florida State Road 71 for speeding on Dec. 12. A 29-year-old Callaway man was taken into custody at the scene and faces charges of cocaine possession with the intent to sell, oxycodone trafficking, heroin possession, possessing a firearm while a convicted felon and fleeing and eluding.
Deputies say that the man's van was pulled over after radar equipment indicated that it was traveling at 40 mph on a stretch of road with a 25 mph speed limit. However, the traffic stop escalated when deputies detected what they referred to as an overpowering odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The driver of the van attempted to flee the scene on foot but was captured after a brief pursuit.
During the subsequent search, deputies say that they recovered about 9 grams of heroin, 25.5 grams of crack cocaine, 20.8 grams of powder cocaine, 7.8 ounces of heroin and 34 plastic bags that each contained approximately 1,000 oxycodone pills. A loaded handgun and a cache of 9mm ammunition were also found.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys would likely advise individuals who are about to be charged with serious felony drug crimes to resist the urge to flee. Attempting to escape from the police is rarely successful and makes it more difficult for defense attorneys to negotiate a favorable plea agreement.
Source: My Panhandle, "Largest Drug Bust in Gulf County History", Kayla Tucker, Dec. 14, 2018
Source: The Panama City News-Herald, "A million dollar traffic stop will help community post-Hurricane Michael", Zack McDonald, Dec. 13, 2018