Bradenton man charged with possession of synthetic marijuana


A Bradenton man was charged with possession of synthetic marijuana after being stopped for making an illegal left turn while driving, according to the Bradenton Police Department.

Francisco M. Otero, 49, was arrested at 4:52 a.m. Saturday in the 1200 block of 21st Avenue West. According to a report, officers observed the driver of a gold Mercedes Benz making an illegal left turn onto 21st Avenue West and 14th Street West. Officers conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle and made contact with Otero, who was the sole occupant. Officers detected the smell of possible synthetic marijuana and asked Otero if he had anything illegal inside, to which he said no.

A search of the vehicle revealed three bags of synthetic marijuana, a crack stem, and a piece of foil containing four small white rocks. According to police, Otero said he bought the synthetic marijuana from a gas station in Palmetto for $20 a bag. Otero said he was told it was still legal, police said.

Otero was charged with possession of synthetic marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled substance without prescription. He was being held in Manatee County jail on bonds totaling $7,000, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office website.