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Auburndale Traffic Stop For Operating Without License Plate Leads To Trafficking In Meth Bust

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Release by Auburndale Police Department

On November 28, 2023, Auburndale Police Department officers conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for operating without a license plate near Colonial Drive in Auburndale. During the traffic stop investigation, the driver/owner was identified as Jessica Lynn Ricks, (35) of Auburndale and the passenger was identified as David Wayne Harrell, (56) of Auburndale.

While speaking with Ricks and Harrell, officers detected a strong odor of cannabis from the vehicle. It was determined neither Ricks nor Harrell possessed prescription marijuana cards. Through investigation, it was learned Harrell had an active warrant for violation of probation and was on active probation. Harrell was placed under arrest for his warrant and a probation violation.

Also, during the traffic stop, it was deemed Ricks had committed a criminal traffic violation and was also placed under arrest. During a vehicle inventory, cannabis, alprazolam, and methamphetamine were located inside of the vehicle. Several items of paraphernalia were also located, indicating the narcotics were not for personal consumption. The total weight of the cannabis recovered was 14.7 grams. The total weight of the methamphetamine recovered was 324 grams.

Ricks was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, a first-degree misdemeanor, possession of cannabis less than 20 grams, a first-degree misdemeanor, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, a third–degree felony, possession of a vehicle for trafficking in narcotics, a second-degree felony, and trafficking in methamphetamine, a first-degree felony.

Harrell was charged with violation of probation, possession of drug paraphernalia, a first-degree misdemeanor, and possession of cannabis less than 20 grams, a first-degree misdemeanor.

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