Crime

Bradenton man was driving a stolen car, cops say. After a search, he faces bigger trouble

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A 38-year-old Bradenton man faces multiple felony charges after being caught with a large amount of drugs inside a stolen car and then tried to run, Manatee County sheriff’s deputies say.

Deputies say they approached Wilber Ventura just after 2 a.m. on Aug. 11 in the 3200 block of Fifth Street East after watching him get out of a vehicle that had been reported stolen by Enterprise rental cars because it had not been returned.

Deputies say Ventura quickly became agitated and when asked, provided deputies with a false name. As the deputies ran his information, they confronted Ventura about providing a false name and Ventura ran away, according to the report.

Two deputies pursued, tackled him to the ground and a scuffle ensued with Ventura attempting to kick the deputies, the report states.

He was secured and deputies say they continued their investigation with a search of the stolen vehicle where they found several items such as scales and baggies associated with selling narcotics, — some of which were hidden inside a Taco Bell food bag — 46 grams of cocaine and 21 grams of heroin, the report states.

Deputies say they also found 48 grams of methamphetamine.

WIlber is charged with trafficking drugs, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine; grand theft of a motor vehicle and resisting arrest. He was booked into the Manatee County jail where he remains in custody on a total of $62,500 in bonds.

According to jail records, Ventura was on probation for a burglary conviction and was additionally charged with violating that probation. Ventura has prior arrests in Manatee County dating back to 2006 to include aggravated assault, driving under the influence and petit theft.

Breaking News/Real Time Reporter Mark Young began his career in 1996 and has been with the Bradenton Herald since 2014. He has won more than a dozen awards over the years, including the coveted Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting from the Florida Press Club and for beat reporting from the Society for Professional Journalists to name a few. His reporting experience is as diverse as the communities he covers.
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