[PHOTO CREDIT: iStock / artisteer]
(Have news tips for LLN?… 352Tips@gmail.com.)
[Original Publish Date: 09/25/19]
EUSTIS, Florida – A homeless man’s arrest Monday may have been slightly unusual in that a police officer located the man’s drugs under his Bible. However, when Maurice McCook, 31, arrived at the Lake County Jail charged by police with possession of methamphetamine, he certainly found company. An analysis by Lake Legal News of 755 persons recently booked into the Lake County Jail during a random 30-day period –Aug. 22 to Sept. 20– reveals that nearly 1-in-12 cases involved (in one way or another), the drug methamphetamine. Most cases were possession of methamphetamine cases, like McCook’s.
According to McCook’s booking sheet, he was approached by a Eustis police officer who “advised Maurice and Nicholas [Johnson] that the Lake Walk closed at 2300 hours. Due to past involvement with Maurice,” the report continues, “and the knowledge that he had overdosed on Saturday night, 09/21/2019 I asked for consent to search his belongings. Maurice granted consent and a search of his property was conducted.”
Although a search of the suspect’s backpack revealed noting illegal, “I then asked Maurice if I could look through the Bible that he was reading,” the officer continued to write. “He stated yes and that I was going to find something under the [B]ible. I lifted the [B]ible and located a gray sunglass case with the top of a syringe sticking out of it… I asked Maurice what was inside of the syringe and he stated you know what it is.” After the clear liquid tested positive for methamphetamine, McCook was arrested and taken to the Lake County Jail.
In addition to McCook’s arrest, his companion, Nicholas Johnson, 26, was also arrested after the officer alleged that a consensual search of Johnson revealed additional methamphetamine. The two men add to what LLN has uncovered to be a fairly constant tide of Meth arrests here in Lake County.
James Hope is a Florida Bar Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer who has been practicing criminal law in Tavares, Florida, since 1987. He has also been the Publisher and Executive Editor of Lake Legal News since 2009. He may be contacted at LakeLegalNews@gmail.com, or through his website at www.AttorneyJamesHope.com. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]