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Friday, September 17, 2021

Drug-sniffing dog helps police arrest Leesburg woman

Samantha Beary
Samantha Beary

A drug-sniffing dog helped put a Leesburg woman behind bars on drug possession charges.

Samantha Beary, 29, was driving a black Saturn with a female passenger on Bay Street around 9:50 a.m. Friday when a police officer noticed her expired tag and began following her in his marked patrol car. Beary made several sudden turns onto side streets until he activitated his emergency lights and stopped her at the corner of Titcomb Street and West Idlewood Avenue, according to a police report from the Eustis Police Department.

During the stop, the officer saw Beary make “furtive movements” toward the front door pocket area “as if trying conceal something.” She then put a cigarette in her mouth, began shaking uncontrollably and told him she had recently been released from jail. The patrolman became suspicious and summoned two additional patrol units to the scene.

When Beary declined to have her car searched, police used a drug-sniffing dog to conduct an open-air sniff around the vehicle which signaled the presence of drugs, giving them probable cause to search her car where they found crack cocaine, two bags of crystal meth, and two glass pipes.

Beary denied the drugs were hers, saying a friend had the car the day before. But she couldn’t explain why one of the meth bags was found in a bag next to her bank card, police say.

Beary, who has prior arrests for drug possession and grand theft, was booked at the Lake County Jail on $5,000 bond. Her court date is set for Aug. 16.

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