Florida Keys

It started out as a minor pot bust. Then the lab results arrived

Brian Mills
Brian Mills

An investigation of a traffic stop that resulted in a misdemeanor pot bust escalated into a felony warrant for synthetic marijuana dealing after results came back from a state crime lab.

Brian Mills, 32, was pulled over by Monroe County Sheriff's Office deputies at 4 p.m. Feb. 19 at mile marker 56. The Clermont man was riding in the passenger's side of his Chevrolet Malibu.

The deputy wrote in his report that he pulled the car over "due to items hanging from the interior rearview mirror, obstructing the driver's view, and for suspected illegal tint on the side window," investigating Deputy Garrett Bragg wrote in his report.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent arrived as backup, and his dog "alerted" to "possible drugs" in the Malibu, according to Bragg.

While conducting a "probable cause" search, deputies found a bag containing 13 grams of marijuana, according to the arrest report.

They also found 30 vials, each containing a clear yellow oil, which they sent to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement laboratory.

Results on the vials came back positive on May 16 showing the oil was tetrahydrocannibinol, or synthetic marijuana smoked as vapor using electronic cigarettes.

Bragg said the vials' street value is between $50 and $80 each.

"Through my training and experience, I know that possessing this amount of vials is not for personal use, but for the intent to sell and distribute," Bragg wrote in his report.

A judge signed Mills' arrest warrant on May 16. He was arrested Monday in Tavernier and released on $25,000 bond two hours later.