The driver of a disabled vehicle is in custody this morning on multiple drug charges after a deputy smelled marijuana while assisting him push the vehicle off the road. Bernardo Baptist (1/24/75) was arrested on Monday afternoon on 9 counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
The Deputy observed Baptist’s vehicle stopped in the roadway at Harborview and Tamiami Trail at approximately 1:00pm on Monday with the hazard lights on. As the deputy assisted Baptist push the vehicle off the roadway he observed a strong smell of marijuana coming from him. The deputy called for back-up and asked Baptist about the odor as well as whether he had drugs in his vehicle on on his person.
Baptist responded “no, you can search me” to the questions. The deputy then located a plastic baggie in his front pocket containing approximately 5 grams of marijuana. The deputy also located a blue pouch in the front of Baptist’s pants, at which time Baptist advised he was going back to jail.
The pouch contained several different types of pills later identified as Oxycodone, Alprazolam, Buprenorphine Hydrochloride, Nalaxone, and MDMA. There were also several small baggies containing methamphetamine, MDMA, cocaine, and marijuana.
Bernardo Baptist was transported to the Charlotte County Jail on the charges listed above. The vehicle, which the deputy had assisted him remove from the roadway, was towed from the scene.