The special county-wide patrol details are funded by the Monroe County Coalition for a Safe and Drug Free Community. Deputies who sign up for the detail work as an additional law enforcement presence at and around after-school activities as well as patrolling for house parties.
On Friday night, officers were working in Marathon at a baseball tournament at the High School. They made contact with a group of four teenage males in the parking lot. The teens ranged in age from 16 to 19. One of the males – 17 years old - had a plastic bag in his pocket with marijuana inside. A car in the parking lot belonged to one of them who is 16 years old; when Deputy Chuck Kellenberger approached it, he could smell the odor of marijuana. The boy who owned the car gave the deputy permission to search it. Deputy Kellenberger then called for Deputy Danielle Malone to respond with her dog, Tracer.
Tracer first alerted on the car, and once inside the car, alerted on a back pack on the back seat. Inside the back pack, deputies found 32 plastic bags of marijuana, packaged as if for sale. The bags contained 34 grams of marijuana.
Inside the glove compartment of the car was a digital scale with marijuana residue on it and an empty plastic bag. In the trunk was found a bottle of Captain Morgan rum that was partially empty.
One of the teens, the 16 year old owner of the car, claimed responsibility for all the marijuana in the car. He was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of alcohol by a minor and possession of drug paraphernalia. The 17 year old who had marijuana in his pocket was also arrested and charged with possession of marijuana.
The other two claimed to know nothing about the illegal substances; they were not charged.
Three of the teens were from Marathon, including the two who were arrested. The 19 year old who was with them is from Clewiston, Florida.