Crowd alerts BBPD to drug deal

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Matthew Mottl, 35
Charles Fowler, 23

People lined up on benches in front of a convenience store led Bradenton Beach police to arrest two men for drugs.

Matthew Mottl, 35, listed as homeless, and Charles Fowler, 23, who lives on a boat in the bayfront anchorage near the city pier in Bradenton Beach, were arrested at 11:50 p.m. July 7 outside Circle K, 103 Gulf Drive S., Bradenton Beach.

BBPD Officer Tom McGill reported he observed several people “lined up on the benches out front” and making noises “almost to alert someone” while he walked into the store.

Mottl was counting money as Fowler backed away with a bag. Police then observed Mottl “try to shove” a large bag of what appeared to be marijuana into another bag, according to the report.

The officer detained both men.

After a police search, Mottl was arrested for possessing a controlled substance with the intent to sell, possessing more than 20 grams of marijuana and paraphernalia.

In Mottl’s bag, BBPD found 47 grams of marijuana, THC wax, a scale and tools. They also found a vial of 24 pills without a prescription, which included alprazolam, klonopin and subetex, in Mottl’s pocket.

Fowler was released after BBPD issued him a notice to appear in court for possessing less than 20 grams of marijuana.

A witness to Mottl’s arrest, Fowler wrote a statement, now in the court record.

“Some guy asked me if I knew where to get some weed. I said no, but then I noticed Matt at the K and asked if he had any weed. He said yes and gave me 1.5 G’s for $10. I did not get a chance to give him money because the cop came up behind us and told us to put our hands on the wall.”

Mottl signed a statement indicating the pills were for his personal use, the police report states.

He was transported to the Manatee County jail, where he was in custody at press time.

He was assigned a $9,500 bond.

His arraignment is set for 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 17, at the Manatee County Judicial Center, 1051 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

Fowler’s court record for the marijuana possession was not available at press time.

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