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Driver seen leaving known drug house area stopped with crack cocaine

A Leesburg man was arrested on drug charges when a traffic stop led to the discovery of crack cocaine and a pipe in his vehicle.

John Michael Ehlenbauch
John Michael Ehlenbauch

An officer conducted a traffic stop on a gold 2009 Chevrolet SUV for failing to obey a stop sign near Harlem Avenue and Tuskegee Street around 7:42 p.m. Wednesday, according to an arrest report from the Leesburg Police Department. The vehicle came to a stop on Georgia and Harlem Avenue where contact was made with the driver, 64-year-old John Michael Ehlenbauch. 

Two officers arrived as backup wherein one of them spoke to the occupants of the vehicle. He maintained contact with Ehlenbauch and the passengers while a K-9 unit was prepared because the vehicle came from the area of a known drug house and Ehlenbauch’s history of being in the presence of known drug users. Officers were given a positive alert and were clear to search the vehicle, the report said. 

Ehlenbauch was asked to step out of the vehicle while an officer maintained contact with the passengers. He went to speak with an officer and stated he had drug paraphernalia on his person to include one glass pipe and two metal push rods commonly used to smoke cocaine in his front left shorts pocket. He was subsequently detained and searched, the report said. 

The passengers were also asked to step out of the vehicle, and consensual searches were conducted with negative results. Two officers proceeded to search the vehicle where an open pack of 305 cigarettes was found in the driver’s side door panel. Within was a broken glass container and a red screw-top pill container, the report said. 

An officer opened the red container and observed multiple square and rectangular pieces of a white crystal-like substance suspected to be crack cocaine. As a result, Ehlenbauch was placed under arrest and moved to the rear of a patrol vehicle, the report said. 

Ehlenbauch was subsequently taken to the LPD Adult Booking Facility before being transported to Lake County Jail. A small portion of the suspected crack cocaine was tested and came back positive for the presence of cocaine. It weighed about 1.1 grams.  

The Ohio man was charged with possession of cocaine and drug paraphernalia (possession or use). He was released from jail after posting $3,500 bond. 

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