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Traffic stop leads to drug-related arrest

By Lisa Neff, Islander Reporter

A routine traffic stop in Holmes Beach May 18 resulted in the arrest of a 33-year-old woman on a drug paraphernalia charge.

The incident occurred at about 7 p.m., when a patrol officer identified a red Chevy SUV with an expired tag in the 3500 block of East Bay Drive.

The officer approached the driver after she parked behind the Citgo service station in the 3000 block of Gulf Drive. “She began telling stories about her registration that didn’t make sense,” an HBPD report stated.

The driver also could not provide proof of motor vehicle insurance, which is required under state law, and had her license suspended in July 2010, according to police.

After writing a citation, the officer asked the woman to step out of her vehicle, and then, “due to her having some sort of beach shorts on” gave her an opportunity to put on a pair of jeans.

When the driver reached into the vehicle, she reached for her cell phone and began talking to a passenger. The officer asked her to leave the cell phone, and that’s when he “looked down and noticed a needle and syringe on the driver’s side floor board.”

With the driver in custody in the patrol car, police searched the vehicle and found a plastic box containing burnt Brillo pad pieces, a purse containing some pills, a suitcase containing a cigarette pack holding additional pills and “what looked to be a crack pipe.”

The driver faces a traffic citation and two misdemeanor charges — driving on a suspended license and possession of drug paraphernalia.

She was released from the Manatee County jail on $240 bond.

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