February 8, 2014

Convicted felon faces weapon charge

A Naranja, Florida man convicted of six past felonies was arrested in Key Largo today for possession of a handgun.

Deputy Tim Hunsberger was flagged down by a driver just before 5 a.m. on State Road 905. The driver said he was traveling southbound on Card Sound Road and was followed very closely by a car. He said the car flashed it s high beams at him continuously and tailgated him for miles.

He said he went through the toll booth and drove over the Card Sound Bridge with the vehicle still following. He said suddenly the vehicle turned off its lights and turned off the roadway at the south end of the bridge. He said he was concerned because of the erratic driving.

Deputy Hunsberger responded to the area and found a silver Nissan Altima parked in that area. There was a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the car. There were five people in the car. The deputy saw what looked like a handgun in the back seat. He called for backup and began investigating the circumstances. Sgt. Sydney Whitehouse arrived as back up officer a short time later.

The handgun Deputy Hunsberger spotted in the back seat turned out to be a toy, however he subsequently found a real, loaded handgun under the passenger side seat. The handgun, a Springfield XD-40 semi-automatic handgun, was located directly in front of passenger 47 year old Darin James. James subsequently admitted the gun was his. He said a friend gave it to him earlier in the evening. A check on the gun revealed it was reported stolen. Marijuana was also found in the car, which James also claimed was his.

A check on James  history revealed six felony convictions, including sale of cocaine, possession of cocaine and three separate cases for robbery, one for robbery with a deadly weapon. James was arrested and charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm and possession of marijuana. He was booked into jail. The others in the car were released.

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