TAVARES, Fla.—Not even a month on the job and Tavares Police Department’s K9 Bruce has his first trafficking arrest under his collar.
Around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, a TPD road patrol officer was patrolling the area of Burleigh Boulevard (U.S. Highway 441) and Sinclair Avenue when she spotted a black Dodge Challenger and ran a check on the license plate, according to an arrest affidavit.
The license plate came back invalid, and not assigned to a vehicle, giving the officer probable cause for a traffic stop. The officer stopped the car and found the driver, Larry Wallace Taylor, 48, of Apopka, “extremely upset” about the traffic stop,” the arresting officer noted in the affidavit.
Taylor repeatedly told the officer she was incorrect about the tag, and he could provide the paperwork to prove it, but he failed to do so, and also claimed he could not find his wallet. He informed the officer a firearm was in the car and believed his wallet was near the gun and allowed a second officer to safely remove it from the car. Taylor still could not find his wallet and was shaking and “sweating profusely,” even though it was 51 degrees outside, the arresting officer noted.
As Taylor continued to look for his wallet, he told the officer he was nervous, and the officer requested to search the car. He denied her request and as he moved around the car, the officer saw his wallet underneath him and he finally provided his license, according to the affidavit.
Newly-hired K9 Bruce arrived on scene with his handler and performed an exterior sniff of the car. K9 Bruce alerted and upon searching the interior of the car, officers found a “tooter,” a small tube commonly used to snort narcotics, and two bags, one that contained a crystalline rock-like substance and the second, which contained a crystalline substance and a white powder.
The arresting officer tested the rock-like substance that weighed more than 11 grams and it field-tested positive for methamphetamine. Taylor was transported to the Lake County Jail and on the ride to jail, he made a “spontaneous utterance” the drugs were not just methamphetamine. Officers tested both bags at LCJ and they both tested positive for fentanyl, according to the affidavit.
Taylor was arrested for trafficking in fentanyl, possession of methamphetamine and possession of paraphernalia; he was released on $28,000 bond.