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Florida DCF investigator charged with cocaine possession

A Florida Department of Children and Families investigator was charged Saturday with drug possession after she was seen leaving a motel suspected of drug activity by Orange County deputy sheriffs, officials said.

Orange County Sheriff’s office spokesman Jeff Williamson said deputies were working a tip about drug sales in the 7400 block of South Orange Blossom Trail and arrested a woman about 5:30 p.m. for drug possession. They later discovered the woman is employed by DCF, he said.

Susan Gayle Cunningham, 39, of Orlando was charged with cocaine possession after she was seen leaving the Arrow Motel on South OBT and was pulled over, an arrest report stated.

DCF spokeswoman Carrie Hoeppner confirmed Cunningham has been an Orange County investigator since 2005. After hearing about the arrest Saturday, the agency began reviewing all of her open cases and reassigned them.

“An arrest of this nature is terribly concerning to me, it is especially bothersome when it pertains to an individual who holds a position of public trust, who is tasked to look after Florida’s most vulnerable, “ said DCF Central region director John K. Cooper.

Hoeppner said Cunningham will likely be fired. As a rule, all employees must submit to drug tests.

Deputy Alberto Matos had been watching the area when he spotted Cunningham enter the place and leave in her car. Matos gave a description of the vehicle.

Deputy Ronald Batista stopped Cunningham in the Sky Bowl parking lot for failing to signal when she changed lanes and asked to search her car.

Cunningham refused to give permission so Batista called a K-9 narcotics investigator. The dog alerted them to drugs and deputies found a small clear bag tied in a knot containing 15 grams of white powder in the car’s center console.

The powder tested positive for cocaine, deputies said.

Cunningham’s car was seized and she was taken into custody at the Orange County jail. She bonded out Sunday.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement records show that prior to this arrest, Cunningham does not have a state criminal record.

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