A traffic stop for a window tint violation led officers to find drugs and a loaded gun inside a Sarasota man’s vehicle over the weekend, according to Sarasota police.
Officers saw a vehicle traveling near the 3200 block of U.S. 301 in Sarasota around 12:20 a.m. Saturday and noticed the window tint on the vehicle to be “extremely dark,” according to the probable cause affidavit.
A traffic stop was initiated by officers at 29th Street and U.S. 301, but the vehicle coasted west on 29th Street at about 10 mph without pulling over, according to the affidavit.
The officer shined their spotlight toward the rear of the vehicle and reported seeing one person — later identified as 20-year-old Tory D. Mitchell — inside leaning into the backseat and moving around, according to the affidavit.
After activating the cruiser’s siren, the officer continued to follow Mitchell down 29th Street. Mitchell was still driving around 10 mph, finally stopping at 29th Street and North Osprey Avenue, the affidavit stated.
The officer approached the vehicle and noticed the smell of marijuana coming from inside. When Mitchell was asked if there was any marijuana in the vehicle, he reportedly told officers no, but he “recently had marijuana on him,” according to the affidavit.
An officer searched the vehicle and found a small bag of marijuana and a loaded pistol with a bullet in the chamber after pulling down the center console leading into the trunk, according to the affidavit. A backpack was also found, along with a pill bottle with a scratched off label and cocaine inside.
As Mitchell was being arrested, he told officers, “Man I was going to tell you about that in there. That stuff ain’t mine. They planted the drugs on me,” according to the affidavit. The officer who searched the vehicle noted in the affidavit that they “never mentioned any reason why Mitchell was being placed into custody” and that no other officers at the scene knew the gun or marijuana had been found.
Mitchell was arrested and faces charges of possession of a concealed firearm, possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana less than 20 grams.