October 7, 2022 – Charlotte County, FL
In the early morning hours of Thursday, October 6, two suspects were arrested for identity theft and drug charges after being found in violation of curfew in a vehicle with a tag to which it was not registered.
At 1:26am, deputies observed a Nissan Frontier pickup truck driving in the area of Tuckers Grade in Punta Gorda in violation of the Charlotte County curfew. After they got behind the vehicle, the truck slowed down to approximately 5 MPH. The deputy ran the tag, and the result came back to a Buick. At this time, the deputy activated his emergency lights and attempted a traffic stop. The vehicle continued on, turning off the main road and onto one side street followed by another before finally coming to a stop. Due to this suspicious behavior, the deputy called for backup before engaging with the occupants.
Backup units quickly arrived; at which time the occupants were provided lawful orders to exit the vehicle. As the driver, identified as Sean Russette (9/9/1993), exited, he was observed dropping a syringe and kicking it under the truck. The front passenger was identified as Kaylee Stevens (5/3/1997). Both occupants stated they were headed to the St. Petersburg area, and both denied having any knowledge of narcotics in the vehicle.
A search was conducted, finding two small baggies of a crystal-like substance that tested positive for methamphetamine in the passenger side door, and a pressed pill that tested positive for MDMA in the driver’s side door. The needle that was located under the truck also tested positive for methamphetamine. Additionally, deputies discovered the following in the vehicle:
- 7 driver’s licenses
- 10 credit/debit cards
- 2 Social Security cards
- 30 personal and business checks
- 25 blank checks
- More than 100 handwritten credit card numbers, names, social security numbers, addresses, and other PII
“This is another example of why I instituted the curfew following Hurricane Ian. We have seen several people out on the roads after curfew who don’t belong there, doing things they shouldn’t be doing. I encourage our residents to call the non-emergency line if you see something or someone suspicious, especially in violation of the curfew.”Sheriff Prummell
Both Russette and Stevens were placed under arrest and transported to the Charlotte County Jail. In addition to the charges of drug possession and paraphernalia, the pair are also charged with unlawfully possessing the personal identification information of another person. Additional charges related to the criminal use of such information may be forthcoming.