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Woman jailed after drug-sniffing police dog detects cocaine in car

Stephanie Dawn Cranor
Stephanie Dawn Cranor

A Leesburg woman was arrested after a police K9 unit alerted to the scent of narcotics during a traffic stop.

Shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday, a Fruitland Park Police K9 officer observed a white Nissan without its headlights or taillights activated while traveling southbound on County Road 468. The rainy weather and the sun made it a potential safety hazard, according to the arrest report.

The officer conducted a traffic stop and spoke to the driver and the passenger, 39-year-old Stephanie Dawn Cranor. Both provided their identification without issue when asked. After backup arrived to finish the written warning for the traffic stop, the K9 officer informed the occupants that a free-air sniff of the exterior vehicle was going to be conducted, the report said.

The officer walked his K9 partner to the front passenger headlight area of the vehicle and began the free-air sniff in a counter-clockwise pattern. During the first pass, the dog began showing alert signs such as breathing heavier and wagging his tail rapidly while he was sniffing the area of the front passenger side door, according to the report.

During its second pass, the K9 jumped up to the passenger side window, which was in the down position, and continued showing alerts and behavior changes while he was sniffing the air coming through the window. The dog was then returned to the patrol vehicle, the report said.

The officer informed Cranor and the driver of the positive K9 alert and asked her to exit the vehicle. After getting out, Cranor also gave consent for the officer to check her pockets, according to the report.

In Cranor’s right front pants pocket was a rolled-up piece of aluminum foil containing a white rock-like substance. This later tested positive for cocaine but also showed a faint positive for the presence of fentanyl. Cranor said she didn’t know what the substance was and that she had found it on the ground, the report said.

A more thorough search of Cranor revealed a small clear plastic bag containing the same substance found in foil. Cranor said this substance was cocaine, according to the report.

The Kentucky native was subsequently placed under and charged with possession of cocaine, while the driver was issued a written warning for the traffic violation and released. Cranor was taken to the Lake County Jail and released after posting $2,000 bond.

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