The search for a Florida man who missed a scheduled court date led to a large drug seizure on the morning of July 22. U.S. Marshals Service investigators assigned to the agency’s Violent Fugitive Task Force helped Leon County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Tallahassee Police Department officers in the search for the 28-year-old man. The manhunt was launched when he failed to appear to answer a felony count of fleeing and eluding law enforcement.
Officials say the investigators assigned to the case decided to take no chances after learning that the man, who has faced firearms charges in the past according to media reports, had been seen carrying a gun. The manhunt ended a few hours after it had begun when the man was spotted driving a rented BMW sedan on North Monroe Street in Tallahassee. The man allegedly attempted to flee when police signaled him to pull over, but the ensuing pursuit was short and he was taken into custody without further incident.
When police searched the BMW, they allegedly found about 30 pounds of marijuana, a loaded firearm and unspecified items of drug paraphernalia. A search of the man’s residence is said to have led to the discovery of more marijuana and another firearm. In addition to a second felony fleeing count, the man has been charged with possessing a firearm while a convicted felon, marijuana trafficking, possessing drug paraphernalia and resisting arrest.
Drugs or other items discovered during warrantless vehicle searches may be excluded if the suspect did not consent to the search or the police officers involved lacked probable cause. When law enforcement appears to have acted properly and seized drugs are likely to be admitted in court, experienced criminal defense attorneys may suggest seeking more lenient penalties for drug charges by entering into plea negotiations.