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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Argumentative passenger tries tampering with drug evidence during traffic stop

A Summerfield man was arrested for drug possession despite being argumentative and jumping back into his seat to tamper with evidence during a traffic stop.

Kenneth Paul Godwin
Kenneth Paul Godwin

An officer on patrol spotted a gold Chevrolet sedan traveling south on Moss Street around 8:08 p.m. Sunday, according to an arrest report from the Leesburg Police Department. The passenger, later identified as 55-year-old Kenneth Paul Godwin, had left a well-known narcotics location on North Moss Street. 

As the vehicle came to the stop sign at the intersection of High Street, it failed to come to a complete stop before continuing on Moss Street. It also failed to come to a complete stop before the stop bar on West Main Street. It then turned east on West Main Street, the report said. 

The officer proceeded to conduct a traffic stop on the vehicle, and it pulled into the parking lot at 312 N. 14th Street. He approached the vehicle, and Godwin began asking about reasons for the stop and trying to argue with the officer, the report said. 

While the roadside investigation continued, Godwin uttered that they were leaving a residence on Moss Street where his preacher lived. He provided a name for this person, as well. Based on previous encounters and intelligence, the officer knew this person as a known narcotics dealer that lived at the residence where he saw Godwin’s vehicle, the report said. 

The officer subsequently asked Godwin to exit the vehicle and speak with him. The driver advised that he had been called by Godwin to pick him up from the location on Moss Street. He indicated no knowledge of any narcotics activity but gave consent for the officer to search his person and vehicle, the report said. 

The officer then spoke with Godwin and asked him to get out of the vehicle. He was argumentative but initially exited the vehicle. As the officer gave him commands to step away from the vehicle, he jumped headfirst back into the vehicle in what appeared to be an attempt to dispose of or hide evidence. After a brief struggle, he was detained in handcuffs and secured in a patrol vehicle, the report said. 

A search of the vehicle was conducted. In the passenger seat, the officer found a chunk of a white rock-like substance that tested positive for cocaine. An additional piece of the same substance was located underneath the seat as well as two metal pipes used to smoke crack cocaine. The total weight of the collected crack was 1.6 grams, the report said. 

Godwin was arrested and charged with possession of crack, drug paraphernalia (possession or use) and resisting (obstructing without violence). He was transported to Lake County Jail with bond set at $4,500. 

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