LAKE CITY, Fla. -- A 911 call by an apartment complex resident about a man holding up a bag of marijuana smelling it and a car driving with one headlight led to the arrests of two men and the seizure of more than 100 grams of weed.
Craig Strickland, Public Information Officer for the Lake City Police Department, said officers were called to the Windsong Apartments on Windsong Circle around 6:40 Friday, December 14. A resident reported a man was walking around the complex with a bag of marijuana in his hand and was holding up to his nose smelling it.
Officers located a man matching the description given by the caller. Strickland said the man, later identified as 19-year-old Sylvester Warner, originally tried to hide in the bushes.
Strickland said when police asked Warner if he lived in the complex, he said he did but could not tell police which apartment.
Warner gave officers permission to search him and when they did, Strickland said they found a plastic bag of marijuana in Warner's jacket pocket.
The marijuana field tested positive and weighed 12.52 grams, according to Strickland.
Police arrested Warner on a charge of possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana and booked him into the Columbia County Detention Center on a $1,000 bond.
Strickland said the second arrest came after a traffic stop shortly before 10 p.m. on S.W. Arlington Boulevard.
An officer pulled over a white Pontiac for driving with only one headlamp.
During the traffic stop, Strickland said the officer reported smelling a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.
The Pontiac was occupied by 24-year-old Emmanuel Rentz in the back seat with his 2-year-old child who was not in a car seat, a 16-year-old juvenile female in the front seat and the driver, 20-year-old Josiah Brown.
Strickland said after officers cited Brown for improper or unsafe equipment and no child safety restraint, they were given permission to search the vehicle. Strickland said police had probable cause to search the driver and all occupants.
As police were getting the people out of the car, Strickland said police smelled the marijuana odor again and this time saw a small amount of marijuana seeds and stems on Rentz's clothing.
Strickland said before police searched the vehicle, Brown admitted to two marijuana cigarette butts being in the ashtray that had been smoked in the car earlier.
Officers searched the 16-year-old female. Strickland said police allegedly found 1.8 grams of marijuana in her shirt pocket. She told police it was for when she celebrated turning 17 the next day, Strickland said.
Police then turned their attention to Rentz. When they searched the 24-year-old they found $1,120 cash in his shorts pocket. Strickland said officers also located a hidden compartment from the backseat to the trunk area with a baby bag in it.
When the bag was searched, Strickland said police allegedly found four large plastic bags with a total of 94 grams of marijuana inside them and a digital scale.
Strickland said after being read his Miranda rights, Rentz allegedly admitted the baby bag with the digital scale and the marijuana was his. Rentz told police he was trying to make money to help support his child.
Brown, the driver, was cited and released at the scene. Charges were filed on the 16-year-old female, and Strickland said she was also released at the scene.
Police arrested Emmanuel Rentz, charging him with marijuana possession more than 20 grams, possession with intent to sell and possession of narcotics equipment. He was booked into the Columbia County Detention Center on $11,000 bond. Strickland said police seized the drugs, equipment and cash as evidence.
First Coast News