It started out as a routine traffic stop.
Officer Samuel Anderson of the Apopka Police Department was conducting a "moving speed enforcement" in the area directly in front of Apopka Memorial Middle School on Park Avenue Wednesday morning. He clocked a Ford Fiesta sedan going 36 miles-per-hour in a school zone where the speed limit is 20 miles-per-hour. Anderson pulled the Ford over and approached the driver: Rodney Thomas, 25 of Apopka.
Anderson immediately smelled a strong odor of what he believed to be raw (unsmoked) marijuana. He offered Thomas the opportunity to volunteer whatever marijuana he might have in his possession.
Anderson found a small clear plastic baggie that contained a greenish leafy substance in Thomas' pocket which he believed was marijuana, and a substantial amount of money.
After securing Thomas in handcuffs and putting him in the back seat of his patrol car, the vehicle was searched.
Anderson located two packages which contained small, empty clear plastic baggies, a backpack in the trunk which contained multiple large bags of a green leafy substance. Within those bags were smaller zip-lock style bags, each packed with suspected marijuana. More of the small, empty clear plastic baggies were located in the backpack. A black digital scale with suspected marijuana residue was also located inside the backpack, along with a Ruger LC-9 semi-automatic handgun, which was loaded with six 9mm rounds in the magazine and another round in the chamber.
There was approximately two pounds of marijuana found in Thomas' car, and $1,325 in his pocket.
Thomas was transported to APD for processing, and charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell or deliver within 1,000 feet of a school, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana (for the small amount found in his pocket), possession of drug paraphernalia, and cited for unlawful speed in a school zone.
After being processed at APD, he was transported to the Orange County Jail and booked.
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