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Zephyrhills man charged with drug possession, trafficking after Hernando traffic stop

BROOKSVILLE — A Zephyrhills man is facing charges of drug possession and trafficking after Hernando County authorities say they saw him dump a plastic grocery bag filled with narcotics and cash during a traffic stop.

Hernando sheriff's Deputy Stephen Pritz and reserve Deputy James Baker were conducting traffic enforcement with radar in the area of Elgin Boulevard and Baylor Road in Spring Hill about 10:28 p.m. Wednesday when they clocked a black Honda driven by Joseph Scott Johnson, 42, driving 58 mph in a posted 35 mph zone.

While pursuing the vehicle, one of the deputies saw the bag being thrown from the driver's window before the Honda came to a stop on Elgin.

The deputies approached Johnson, who appeared nervous and denied throwing anything from the vehicle. Upon retrieving the bag, Pritz discovered it contained a large amount of what later tested positive for marijuana.

While walking back to the vehicle, he observed additional items being thrown out of the front passenger-side window, including a clear plastic Ziploc bag containing $12,900 in cash wrapped in rubber bands.

Later, K-9 deputies discovered a plastic bottle on the ground near the vehicle that contained numerous types of colored pills, all of which were later identified as oxycodone. The marijuana, which was in two separate plastic bags, was later weighed. The first bag weighed 456 grams, the second bag 460 grams.

Johnson was charged with five counts of trafficking in oxycodone, two counts of possession of controlled substance, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and tampering with evidence.

He was taken to the Hernando County Detention Center, where he remained Thursday in lieu of $270,000 bail.

Zephyrhills man charged with drug possession, trafficking after Hernando traffic stop 03/07/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 7, 2013 8:26pm]
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