A seat belt infraction led to a traffic stop last Saturday and the discovery of drugs in the vehicle, according to a press release from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
Officials say agency officers were “conducting criminal interdiction patrols in the area of Hwy 71 South near the Walmart area” in Marianna when a white Chevrolet sedan was seen traveling in the area with front-seat passengers not wearing safety belts.
Subsequently the vehicle was stopped and the traffic infraction was addressed. During the enforcement action, K-9 Roxy was deployed to conduct a free-air sniff of the exterior of the vehicle, officials say, and the dog reportedly indicated a positive alert to the odor of illegal narcotics emitting from the vehicle.
A probable cause search of the vehicle was conducted which revealed over one pound, or 500-plus grams, of synthetic marijuana (K2/Spice) in the immediate area of rear seat passenger Richard Daniel Willis, officials reported.
A search of his person incident to arrest did reveal a small quantity of suspected methamphetamine, authorities say.
Willis reportedly provided investigators with a post-Miranda statement in which he claimed ownership of the narcotics located, officials stated in the release.
Additionally, it was discovered that Willis was under supervision of community control. He was arrested without incident and transported to the Jackson County Correctional Facility to await first appearance.
The 43-year-old Marianna man was charged with trafficking in a controlled substance (synthetic marijuana), possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of probation.