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Monday, March 4, 2024

Leesburg bicyclist caught with drugs in his backpack

Eric Richard Brown
Eric Richard Brown

A Leesburg man was arrested on drug charges after police found narcotics in his backpack during a traffic stop.

An officer spotted 49-year-old Eric Richard Brown riding a bicycle on Grizzard Street at about 4:16 p.m. Saturday, according to an arrest report from the Fruitland Park Police Department. He did not come to a complete stop for a stop sign before turning onto US Highway 27/441.

As a result, the officer initiated a traffic stop and identified Brown. While speaking with him, the officer noticed he had a knife in his pocket and a large hunting-style knife clipped to his belt, the report said.

Brown said he was coming from a residence in Fruitland Park that the officer knew to be prevalent with the use and distribution of narcotics. This led the officer to ask if Brown had any drugs, guns, or paraphernalia in his backpack. Brown stated he did not have any of those items and denied the officer consent to search his backpack. However, he did agree to place the backpack on the ground and step away from it, the report said.

Per the officer’s request, a K9 unit responded to the scene to conduct a free-air sniff, the report said. The K9 gave a positive alert to the odor of narcotics emitting from Brown’s backpack. As the officer began to search the backpack, Brown became agitated, and his knives were removed from him for the remainder of the investigation, according to the report.

The officer found a syringe that contained a small amount of a reddish-brown liquid suspected to be blood mixed with methamphetamine in the front zippered pocket of the backpack. In that same pocket were two small blue pills labeled “ABG 15,” or morphine. A small amount of suspected marijuana was also found in a different pocket, the report said.

Brown was then arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, morphine and drug paraphernalia. He was taken to the Lake County Jail without incident. Bond was set at $5,000.

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