Deputies scouting a known drug house pulled over two visitors and found meth and a gun with hollow point rounds.
Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office deputies were posted outside of a known drug house in Nokomis around 3 p.m. Tuesday when they saw 39-year-old Tommy Smith and his 23-year-old passenger, Christopher Lester, enter the house. Smith, of Sarasota, was carrying a green backpack, according to the probable cause affidavit.
An hour later, the pair left the house and Smith put the backpack in the trunk of his silver Kia SUV, according to the affidavit.
In an unmarked police car, the deputies followed the SUV. According to the affidavit, Smith first failed to stop at a stop sign. Then, he didn’t have his turn signal on when he turned left at a four-way intersection. As Smith came up to the intersection of Albee Farm Road South and Florence Street, he signaled to turn right but made a left turn.
The deputy activated the emergency lights, but Smith didn’t stop until a block north at Kilpatrick Road. As the deputies spoke with the pair, they could smell burnt marijuana from the car, according to the affidavit. Smith denied there was any in the car.
When the pair was asked to leave the SUV, a syringe with a yellow piece of tape wrapped around it fell out of Lester’s pants, according to the affidavit. Two empty baggies were found in his shoe. The deputy asked about the syringe after he was read his Miranda rights, and Lester told the deputy he was going to shoot up a half of a suboxone pill.
Deputies searched the car and found in the green backpack four baggies of meth weighing 9.6 grams, a blue pill bottle with 1.4 grams of marijuana, a smoked blunt in a cigarette pack, a digital scale and baggies for distributing drugs.
Also in the backpack was a Walther 9mm semi-automatic handgun and a loaded magazine with hollow point rounds, which typically cause more tissue damage because they expand upon impact.
Smith faces charges of meth possession with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana under 20 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Lester faces charges of possession of drug paraphernalia.