Traffic Stop Leads to More than 100 Grams of Meth

UMATILLA, Florida—A painted taillight that caught the attention of a Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputy began a series of events that ended in a trip to jail for a DeLand man Friday night after he was found with more than 125 grams of methamphetamine.

Shortly after 10 p.m. Friday, the deputy spotted a blue Mercedes with what the deputy thought was an inoperable taillight on State Road 19 south of Umatilla. As the deputy approached the car, it was apparent the lights were painted and the driver side taillight was painted darker, making it appear very dim, according to an arrest affidavit.

The deputy noticed the car’s high beam headlights were on and the driver failed to dim them as oncoming traffic approached. The car turned onto a side street and the deputy pulled off on the side of the road. Moments later, the car passed the deputy again, still with its high beams on and pulled into Circle K at State Road 19 and Ocala Street with the deputy close behind.

The deputy initiated a traffic stop and both the front passenger and rear passengers opened their doors. The deputy ordered them to remain in the car. The front passenger left his door ajar and the deputy spotted a fixed blade hatchet at his feet, the affidavit states, and he was removed from the car. Inside Lake is not naming either passenger because they were not charged with a crime.

While speaking with the passengers, LCSO noticed a glass pipe in the center console and a Umatilla Police officer arrived on scene to assist. LCSO asked the driver, Brandon Peter Torres, 36, to step out of the car and the deputy noticed a large clear bag protruding out of the front pocket of his hoodie. Torres was searched and found with a total of three bags of methamphetamine; one weighed 112 grams, the second weighed 15 grams and the smallest bag weighed just over 2 grams.

Torres was arrested for trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia. He is being held in the Lake County Jail on $51,000 bond.

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