[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 07/25/20]
TAVARES, Florida — A Winter Garden man who stored his methamphetamine in a nylon pouch labeled “meth” has been charged with possessing the drug, attaching tag not assigned and driving on a suspended license stemming from a traffic stop earlier this month.
On July 2, shortly before 3 a.m., Michael Eugene Stephens, 39, was stopped by an officer from Tavares Police Department for driving a white car with a tag that was registered to a maroon van, according to a probable cause affidavit. The officer approached Stephens and asked for his license, registration and insurance information to which Stephens reportedly replied, “Sir, I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t have any of that.”
The officer ran Stephens’ information and found that he had eight current driver license suspensions dating back to 2014 and was labeled an habitual traffic offender, the affidavit states. Stephen consented to a search of the vehicle and the officer found a nylon pouch labeled “meth” in the center console. The bag contained a white residue, according to the affidavit; a small vile with white residue was also found in the console.
Stephens was then searched and found with a small baggie in his front right pocket that contained a substance that field tested for methamphetamine and later confirmed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Stephens was released on scene.
He was arrested on July 18 for driving on a suspended license and attaching tag not assigned and was already in the Lake County Jail when the new charges were added Tuesday. Stephens is being held on no bond due to violating his probation from a 2019 case. No information from the 2019 case was available at press time.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. She has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]