Expired registration leads to pot arrest

OKEECHOBEE — Not long after being pulled over for an expired registration, an 18-year-old Okeechobee man found himself behind bars on felony drug charges.

Noah Cameron Torres, S.E. 25th St., was arrested Saturday on felony charges of possession of marijuana over 20 grams, possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of a controlled substance (focalin) without a prescription. He was also arrested on a misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Torres was booked into the Okeechobee County Jail on a bond of $25,500. Jail records show he has been released on bond.

Noah Cameron Torres, 18

Deputy Timothy Miller, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), stopped Torres around 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 19 in the 2000 block of S.R. 70 West after learning the registration had expired on the 2006 Mitsubishi Eclipse he was driving.

“The license plate had a yellow sticker indicating the registration expired this month (August of 2017). I ran the license plate through our system to check the validity of the registration. The registration came back as expired on 8-4-2017,” stated the deputy’s arrest report.

When the deputy asked Torres for his registration, the man willingly handed the paper over to the deputy. As the deputy looked over the paper he began to think Torres may be in possession of marijuana.

“The registration was folded up and as I unfolded it I noticed there was marijuana flake in the folded crease of the registration,” noted Deputy Miller.

“The marijuana flake in the registration tested positive for THC content.”

OCSO Deputy Matt Crawford and his K-9, Mick, were summoned to the scene. While doing an external sniff of the Mitsubishi, Mick allegedly indicated a positive alert to the vehicle.

During a subsequent search of the car Deputy Miller stated he found a backpack that contained a bag of suspected pot. When he tested that substance, the test apparently indicated a positive result for the presence of marijuana.

The suspected pot weighed 21.6 grams, pointed out the deputy.

Also found in the backpack was a prescription bottle with no label. That bottle, noted the report, contained 15 capsules that were identified as the stimulant focalin.

“I also saw several plastic baggies and money in the backpack,” offered Deputy Miller.

The cash, added the deputy, totaled $305.

As Deputy Miller continued his search, he allegedly found: a digital scale; a pair of socks with suspected marijuana flake on them; a smoked marijuana cigarette (roach); a metal marijuana grinder; and, a plastic cup with marijuana flake in it.

According to the deputy’s report, Torres was also issued a written warning for the expired registration.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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