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Sunday, June 4, 2023

Felon nabbed on drug, weapon charges in traffic stop

Bradley John Pearce
Bradley John Pearce

A Mount Dora man with a prior conviction for vehicular homicide was arrested on a host of charges after an officer stopped him for not wearing his seat belt.

Bradley John Pearce, 43, was charged with possession of ammunition by a felon, possession of fentanyl, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while license permanently revoked, resisting an officer without violence, and giving a false name to law enforcement while lawfully detained.

At around 11:33 p.m. Wednesday, an officer observed Pearce driving without a seat belt in a white GMC Sierra pickup truck on U.S. Highway 27/441. The officer ran the license tag, which revealed multiple prior involvements where Pearce was the driver. The report also showed Pearce didn’t have a valid driver’s license and driving with a revoked license, according to the Fruitland Park Police arrest report.

As the officer tried to position his vehicle next to the truck to get a better view the driver, Pearce slowed to such a speed that the officer had to use his brakes, almost to a stop, for Pearce to drive by. The officer then positioned himself behind the truck and conducted a traffic stop, the report said.

The officer approached Pearce and began explaining the reason for the stop, but Pearce interrupted before he could continue. Pearce said he was going slow because his truck bed was weighed down with concrete blocks. During this conversation, the officer noticed Pearce had put his seat belt on. When asked about this, Pearce stated he always wears his seat belt, despite the officer’s observation of him without it, according to the report.

At that point, the officer requested Pearce’s license, to which he responded he forgot it at home. He instead said his name was “Brian Hunt.” He also paused and stated he was not sure of his social security number off the top of his head but provided one anyway, the report said.

The officer returned to his patrol car to check the social security number provided. This came up with a female who did not look anything like Pearce. The officer again asked Pearce what his name was, to which Pearce stated “Brian Hunt” once more. He also denied his last name was “Pearce,” according to the report.

A senior K9 officer then arrived on scene and asked Pearce to exit his truck, to which he complied. While the arresting officer tried to identify Pearce, he saw Pearce pull away and try to flee from the K9 officer who was detaining him. The K9 officer put Pearce on the ground and was able to detain him with the arresting officer’s help, the report said.

An inventory of Pearce and the vehicle was then conducted, resulting in the officers finding a wallet that had different peoples’ licenses and Pearce’s real identification right behind them, according to the report.

In the vehicle, a makeshift orange pipe wrapped in burnt aluminum foil was found in the pocket of the center console underneath the radio. Multiple rounds of ammunition were in plain view on the center armrest and thought the vehicle. A clear plastic bag containing white powder and multiple pieces of mail bearing Pearce’s identity were found on the floor, as well. The powder later tested positive for fentanyl, the report said.

Also in the vehicle was a sticker on the center console reading “Bradley Pearce” and a magnet on the roof bearing “Bradley,” the report said.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office was advised on Pearce’s actual identity, to which they advised returned warrants out of Orange County for possession of methamphetamine and out of Levy County for larceny (petit theft first offense) that were confirmed, according to the police report.

A criminal history check showed Pearce is a convicted felon whose license was permanently revoked in 2009 for DUI manslaughter/vehicular homicide. He also has two prior convictions from December 2017 and February 2020 for driving while license revoked, the report said.

Pearce was taken to the Lake County Jail, where bond was set at $17,000.

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