[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 09/09/20]
GROVELAND, Florida — An accused drug trafficker may have thought he was outsmarting law enforcement by using Lyft to transport drugs from Gainesville to Orlando, but his trip ended early in Groveland Tuesday night, according to an arrest affidavit.
Groveland Police pulled over a vehicle for speeding and no tag light just before 9:45 p.m. occupied by two men and a woman. Police asked to search the vehicle and the woman said no, according to the affidavit. Due to the nervousness of the backseat passenger, later identified as Stephon Delmichael Ford, the officer requested a K-9.
The dog alerted and police found a duffle bag in the backseat compartment with a cache of drugs, including seven mason jars of marijuana and numerous bags containing MDMA, crack cocaine and ecstasy.
The woman, a driver for Lyft, told GPD she picked up Ford, 24, in Gainesville for a trip to Orlando and he entered her vehicle with the duffle bag. She said picked up her husband, the front seat passenger, on the way because she did not feel comfortable taking a trip that far alone, according to the affidavit.
Ford was taken into custody and charged with trafficking in cocaine, trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of ecstasy. He is being held in the Lake County Jail on $54,000 bond. Ford was arrested in Lake County in 2017 for numerous charges, including fleeing and eluding and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail in that case, according to Lake County Clerk of Court records.
“Drugs are the root of most crime and all that is evil…. I thank the men and women of the Groveland Police Department for a job well done knowing this poison will never reach the streets of the intended destination,” said Chief Shawn Ramsey in a press release Wednesday.
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]