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Citizen tip leads to drug charges for Florida couple

Police in southwest Florida reported that a 26-year-old man and 22-year-old woman were taken into custody on April 10 after the discovery of illegal drugs and a handgun. The North Fort Myers residents are being held at the Lee County Jail on charges including drug possession, drug paraphernalia possession, narcotics trafficking, attempting to elude law enforcement and driving while under the influence.

The chain of events that led to the couple's legal problems began when a bystander called the Cape Coral Police Department to report suspicious behavior in the parking lot of a big-box retailer on Southwest Pine Island Road. The caller told emergency dispatchers that a woman had exited a Toyota Corolla sedan to retrieve a spoon from the vehicle's trunk. When an officer arrived at the scene, the man behind the wheel of the Toyota allegedly attempted to flee the scene.

A pursuit did not ensue as the Toyota came to a halt in the main driveway of the parking lot. An officer said that when he approached the vehicle, he observed a silver spoon on the center console that contained a white powdery substance. The substance was allegedly later identified as fentanyl. During a search of the Toyota and its occupants, the officer claims to have discovered a handgun and several plastic bags containing cocaine, methamphetamine and 20 grams of fentanyl.

There are several reasons why experienced criminal defense attorneys would likely advise individuals to resist the impulse to flee law enforcement. Attempts to elude the police are almost always unsuccessful and give officers the probable cause they need to conduct warrantless searches. They may also lead to additional charges and might make it more difficult for defense attorneys to secure favorable plea agreements in cases involving serious drug charges.

Source: Wink News, Cape Coral police arrest two with fentanyl in Kohl's parking lot, Brooke Shafer, April 13, 2019

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