Two Port Charlotte residents are still in custody today at the Charlotte County Jail after their arrests on Sunday evening. The arrests occurred during a traffic stop investigation and it is the second time the couple has been arrested on felony drug charges in the past month.
Matthew Nero (DOB 3/9/96) and Alexa Powers (DOB 9/7/00) were stopped on Sunday evening at El Jobean and Tamiami Trail by a deputy with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office after the taillights on their truck were observed to be inoperable. The deputy made contact with Nero, who was the driver of the truck at the time and is the registered owner. The deputy recognized both subjects due to being their arresting officer during a traffic stop on April 18, 2019. (Blog post for previous arrest in April: https://ccsoblog.org/2019/04/18/canine-alert/).
A member of the canine unit responded to the scene to assist with the traffic stop after Nero denied consent to search. K9 Scar, a certified drug detector canine, conducted a free-air sniff around the vehicle and gave a positive alert to the odor of illegal drugs. This alert led to a search of the truck.
A digital scale was located in the driver’s side door pocket. In a small opening near the ignition a baggie containing methamphetamine was found. Marijuana, hypodermic needles, and a Dilaudid pill were located in a purse on the passenger floorboard. The purse also contained identification cards belonging to Powers. In the backseat area, deputies observed another digital scale containing visible cocaine residue and a large number of plastic baggies similar to the type commonly used in street level narcotics sales.
Upon Nero’s arrest, a plastic bag was located in his pocket containing 25.9 grams of cocaine. The bag was the same as the bags observed in the back seat of the truck.
Matthew Nero was arrested and charged with Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Sell, Possession of a Controlled Substance (Meth) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Alexa Powers was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance (Dilaudid), Possession of >20 grams marijuana, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Sheriff Bill Prummell is working to eliminate drug addiction in our community by removing dealers from the streets and providing recovery assistance through his Drug Recovery Initiative. Through this initiative, those seeking assistance can bring their user amount of drugs to any district office or call deputies to your location. Through partnership with Charlotte Behavioral Health Care, deputies will bring the caller to detox free of charge without fear of arrest.
Anonymous tips about dealers or drug use in your area can be submitted online by visiting www.ccso.org or through our mobile app, available on Apple and Android markets.