JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – A man and woman were arrested Thursday on charges stemming from a traffic stop in Nassau County, where the Florida Highway Patrol said troopers confiscated firearms and drugs.
Soldiers said they discovered fentanyl, molly, marijuana and six firearms. They arrested Lonnie Austin, 42, and Linda Banks, 50.
According to the arrest report, a soldier who first spotted them sitting in a car in the parking lot of a closed business early Thursday morning suspected something was wrong. The trooper said that when he pulled into the parking lot to get closer to their vehicle, it appears Austin was trying to avoid him and drove off.
The trooper said he was unable to follow the vehicle due to traffic, so the trooper called another nearby trooper to have the vehicle stopped because Austin was not wearing a seat belt. The vehicle was stopped on US 17.
The trooper who arrested Austin said he smelled marijuana emanating from the car and saw a gun in the car as well as drug paraphernalia, which gave the trooper a likely reason to search the car. During the search, FHP said, the soldier found several firearms and drug dealing.
According to an arrest report, just before Austin entered jail, he confessed to a Nassau County deputy that he still had drugs on him. The report says Austin removed a vial of oxycodone pills that were hidden inside his body, then tried to bribe the deputy by offering him $5,000 to destroy the pills and pretend it wasn’t. is ever produced.
Investigators say the withdrawal of the oxycodone pills and the attempted bribery were both recorded on the MP’s body camera.
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