Manatee traffic stop leads to drug and weapons charges

MANATEE -- A 23-year-old driver was arrested on drug charges and driving with a suspended license after a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped the vehicle and recovered a loaded .357 revolver, according to the sheriff’s office.

Brandon Houston was driving in the 5100 block of Ninth Street East when he was stopped and later charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, as well as violating his probation for prior drug charges. He remains in jail without bond because of the probation violation charges.

A deputy smelled marijuana coming from the car and searched the vehicle, finding numerous items, including about 2 pounds of marijuana in the trunk of the vehicle just before 4 a.m. Thursday, according to the sheriff’s office.

Houston’s passenger, Evrick Blenman, 18, was charged with possession of marijuana. He posted a $120 bond.