Canine Alert During Traffic Stop Leads to Felony Drug Arrest and Cash Seizure

A suspect is in custody at the Charlotte County Jail today after a Thursday evening traffic stop investigation led to the discovery of felony drugs and $193,925 in US Currency inside his vehicle.

Robert Flanagan
Robert Flanagan (2/2/85)

Robert Flanagan (2/2/1985) of Bradenton, Florida, was stopped by a Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office deputy at 11:15pm on Thursday evening near Toledo Blade and Tamiami Trail. Flanagan was driving a white Dodge pickup truck with several equipment violations related to operational roof mounted clearance lights and side lights, as well as inoperable tag lights. Deputy Sella and his partner, K9 Scar, arrived on scene during the traffic stop and conducted a free-air sniff around the vehicle after Flanagan refused consent to search the truck. K9 Scar is certified in drug detection through the United States Police Canine Association.

Deputy Sella advised the other deputy on scene of K9 Scar’s positive alert to the vehicle, at which time Flanagan stated to the deputies that he “smoked marijuana a few hours ago”.  During a search of the truck, a bag containing a mason jar was located behind the center console. The mason jar contained approximately 8 grams of cannabis wax dab oil. Dab oil is a highly potent oil of varying consistencies with a high concentration of THC, obtained through chemical “washing” of marijuana. Possession of any amount of this drug is a felony.

K9 Scar with the drugs and cash seized after his alert.

Prior to the truck being towed, a tool box in the truck bed was checked to inventory valuables. Upon opening the box, a strong odor of marijuana was observed by the deputies. Four bags were observed inside; 2 shopping bags, 1 white garbage bag, and 1 black vacuum sealed bag. All of the bags were observed to contain smaller sealed bags of US Currency. Each small bag contained $1,000 (some bags being just short of $1,000) for a total amount of $193,925.00. Small pieces of marijuana flakes were also observed in the sealed bags of currency.


Example of the smaller sealed bags of currency located in the truck.

Robert Flanagan was arrested on the charges of Possession of a Controlled Substance without a Prescription and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Flanagan was also served paperwork to begin seizure of the currency and vehicle under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act.

If you have information on drug activity in Charlotte County, you can submit a tip anonymously on our website.


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