Collier County Traffic Stop Yields Enough Fentanyl To Kill A Quarter Of The Population Of Marco Island
By now, the word is out that fentanyl is the most dangerous opioid that could be lurking in any bag of drug that one might buy on the street or online. It is nearly 100 times more powerful than morphine and at least 30 times as strong as heroin, so that even a few grains of fentanyl powder can be a lethal dose. Because fentanyl is so potent relative to its price, drug dealers often mix it with inactive ingredients and sell it to unsuspecting buyers. This can be disastrous, of course, for the people who consume what they think is a prescription drug they bought online (such as Ritalin or Oxycodone); the legal consequences can also be dire if the police catch you in possession of what you think is cannabis, but a forensic test reveals that it is fentanyl. The defendants in this week’s news story allegedly knew that they were transporting an assortment of drugs, and that some of the packages contained fentanyl. If you are facing charges for possession of fentanyl or another controlled substance, contact a Florida drug offense lawyer.
Careless Driving and Carefully Packaged Drugs
On the Monday evening before Thanksgiving, Tyler Qualls of Marco Island was driving his 2012 Ford Escape on Golden Gate Parkway, with his friend Damian Strickland in the passenger seat. According to eyewitnesses, Qualls was driving erratically, swerving between two lanes of traffic, and several cars pulled off of the road to get out of his way and avoid being hit. A Collier County Sheriff’s deputy pulled him over for careless driving. A search of the vehicle led to both men facing legal trouble.
Strickland, 22, had a bag of cocaine in his pocket, but he would have been arrested even without it. He had a warrant out for his arrest for violation of probation. Strickland had been on probation since 2019, when he was convicted of burglary. Deputies then searched the car and found stashes of drugs in the air vents, center console, and door handles and under the seats, among other locations. The drugs appeared to be individually packaged for sale. The quantities of drugs they found were as follows:
- 84 grams of marijuana
- 64 grams of methamphetamine
- 29 grams of fentanyl
- 08 grams of LSD
Strickland is facing drug charges (possession of cocaine, synthetic cannabinoids, and drug paraphernalia) as well as violating state probation and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Qualls is facing charges for drug trafficking, drug possession, and possession of narcotic equipment.
Reach Out to Us Today for Help
Just because police claimed to find individually packaged doses of illegal drugs in your car, it does not automatically mean that you are guilty of drug trafficking. A criminal defense lawyer can help you if you get accused of drug trafficking after a search of your vehicle at a traffic stop. Contact FL Drug Defense Group in Orlando, Florida to discuss your case.