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Man charged with drug possession says syringe was for diabetes

James Henry Lee Knight
James Henry Lee Knight

An Umatilla man arrested on drug charges first tried to claim the uncapped syringe in his possession was for diabetes medication.

Shortly before midnight Wednesday, a Leesburg police officer was conducting a property check at the Shoppes of Lake Village shopping plaza at 10601 U.S. Hwy. 441. The officer observed a silver Buick with a Georgia license plate in the parking lot with a man in the front passenger seat and a woman in the back seat on the driver’s side. The man appeared to be slumped over and looked sweaty, so the officer walked over to check on his well-being, according to the police report.

The windows were down and the vehicle was not running. As soon as the officer made contact with the male passenger, he observed an uncapped syringe in front of the center console, near the passenger’s leg. The male – later identified as 49-year-old James Henry Lee Knight – said he was OK and had issues with his feet, which was why he was leaning forward. He had one of his feet crossed over his knee and appeared to be examining an area between his toes, the report said.

The officer inquired about the syringe and Knight said it was used for diabetes. Asked if he was the one who used it, Knight said no. The officer asked if there was any diabetic medicine or other evidence to prove the syringe was used for diabetes and Knight could not provide an answer. Later in the conversation, Knight spontaneously said he would take the blame for the syringe if it came down to it, according to the report.

The officer concluded drug activity was likely, based on the fact there was an uncapped syringe and a common injection spot is between the toes. The officer called for a K-9 unit. While running Knight’s name through the law enforcement database, it was discovered he had a statewide extradition warrant for violation of probation on a petit theft conviction, the report said.

The K-9 unit arrived and the dog gave a positive alert for narcotics. Prior to being searched, Knight said he had some marijuana tucked in his pants. Officers removed a clear plastic bag containing 2.4 grams of a green leafy substance that tested positive for marijuana, according to the report.

Inside the car, officers found a small glass pipe commonly used to smoke narcotics. They also found an orange pill bottle containing two clear plastic baggies. One of the bags contained a crystal-like substance that tested positive for methamphetamine, while the other contained a white powder-like substance that tested positive for MDMA. Also inside the bottle were 22 capsules of a non-controlled compound prescribed to a female who was not involved in the incident. Neither Knight nor the female passenger admitted to knowing the woman whose name was on the bottle, the report said.

The female passenger told the officer she did not use narcotics and said she previously saw Knight using methamphetamine. She said she didn’t see him use the syringe but believed it belonged to him. Meanwhile, Knight said he did not know anything about the items and he doesn’t do drugs. Both Knight and the female passenger said there was a third individual who drove them to the location and went inside Publix to grab a few items. That male subject never returned to the vehicle, according to the report.

Knight was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), possession of a controlled substance (MDMA), possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He’s being held in the Lake County Jail on $6,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in Lake County Court on May 31.

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