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Saturday, March 18, 2023

Drug suspect arrested after giving false name to police

Nathan Ripp
Nathan Ripp

A man was arrested for drug possession after giving police a fake name to avoid an active warrant for his arrest.

Police observed a black Kia Soul fail to stop at an intersection near Shiloh Street and College Avenue at around 11:22 p.m. Wednesday, according to an arrest report from the Fruitland Park Police Department.

The officer initiated a traffic stop and spoke with three individuals inside the vehicle, the report said. None of the occupants had identification, but they did provide names and dates of birth. The front seat passenger, 32-year-old Nathan Noel Ripp of Fruitland Park, falsely identified himself as “Robert Odette.”

The driver was visibly shaking and appeared to have a difficult time sitting still as the officer spoke to him. A woman in the back seat was holding a sealed package of Naloxone, as well. When asked if they had anything illegal with them, the driver stated there was none. He also denied consent to search the vehicle, the report said.

The officer then requested a K9 unit, the report said. A free-air sniff was conducted, and the K9 showed a positive alert to the odor of narcotics inside the vehicle.

A search resulted in the officer finding a small syringe full of suspected methamphetamine under the passenger seat, where “Robert” was seated, the report said. He was detained while the search continued. The officer also found a cut straw with suspected fentanyl powder inside the driver’s door pocket.

During the investigation, one of the officers was able to identify “Robert” as Ripp from previous encounters. He was found to have an active warrant for violation of probation for possession of paraphernalia and resisting an officer without violence. He later stated this was why he lied about his name, the report said.

Ripp denied any knowledge of the syringe found under his seat, advising it could have belonged to someone who was in the car before him. However, the syringe appeared as if it had been recently left there due to it sitting on top of other debris under the seat, the report said.

A field test was conducted on the substances in the syringe and the straw. The former tested positive for methamphetamines with the later testing positive for fentanyl, the report said.

Ripp was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia and providing false information to a law enforcement officer. He was transported to the Lake County Jail with bond set at $4,000.

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