Because so much criminal paraphernalia is transported in automobiles, even a routine traffic stop can yield evidence of significant criminal conduct. A routine traffic stop in Coral Springs provided dramatic evidence of this phenomenon.
According to news reports Coral Springs police officer stopped a Toyota Camry for failing to display the proper license tag. As the officer was preparing the ticket, he said he noticed a burned marijuana joint in the ash tray in the car’s console.
As the officer was preparing to search the car, the driver told the officer that he was carrying a loaded gun. The loaded gun was legal because the driver had a valid concealed weapons permit.
Officers also spotted a black backpack in the rear seat of the Toyota. The police seized the backpack and opened it. Inside the backpack, officers said they found a large number of bags of marijuana, a narcotics scale and a cannabis grinder.
According to their report, police found a total of 65 grams of marijuana in the car, including the partially smoked joint in the ash tray. This finding gave police sufficient reason to charge the driver with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and sell the drug.
Because the man was carrying a firearm, he was also charged with carrying a concealed firearm during commission of a felony. The driver was also charged with other drug crimes and the original car tag violation. The suspect was taken to Broward County jail and released after posting bail.
The driver’s criminal liability escalated from a minor traffic violation to facing significant penalties for drug-related crimes. A conviction on either of the felony charges could result in a significant period of incarceration together with a substantial fine.