Bradenton man charged with trafficking meth after he’s caught in stolen car, cops say

A 24-year-old Bradenton man is facing a pair of felony charges after being caught inside a stolen car with 17 grams of methamphetamine on Sept. 17, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say they located a vehicle known to be stolen at the Quality Inn parking lot in the 6700 block of 14th Street West and before long, saw Philip Garner enter the vehicle.

According to an arrest report, deputies ordered Garner to the ground and he complied, as did his 33-year-old female passenger. Both told deputies that they “assumed” they had permission to use the vehicle because their friend was previously arrested for “doing drugs,” and left the keys behind, the report states.

Deputies searched Garner and located 17 grams on meth on him and inside the vehicle were two “loaded” needles that deputies say contained heroin.

Garner was booked into the Manatee County jail on a felony motor vehicle theft charge and trafficking in methamphetamine since the amount was more than 14 grams. His passenger, Heather Kelly, was charged with two misdemeanors in relation to the incident.

Garner remains in custody pending a future court date. Kelly posted a total of $620 in bonds and was released the following day.

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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