Florida Keys

When cops and a suspect cross paths at a popular bakery, the pastelitos have to wait

Jorge Labanino
Jorge Labanino Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Since opening in Key Largo in 2015, the Pinecrest Bakery has been consistently crowded with those looking for croquetas, guayabas, empanadas, tequeños and other such treats.

So it’s no surprise that a Homestead man driving a Chevrolet pickup truck seen driving recklessly and the Monroe sheriff’s deputies looking for the vehicle happened to be in the parking lot of the popular Cuban eatery at the same time.

But instead of leaving with a box full of pastelitos, Jorge Labanino, 49, was taken to jail because deputies say they found cocaine, marijuana and Xanax pills inside his vehicle.

Labanino pulled into the mile marker 99 restaurant around 11:40 Tuesday night, right as Deputy Jose Hernandez received a “be on the lookout” call over the radio regarding a pickup truck that matched Labanino’s truck. Another deputy ran the Chevy’s plate and found that it had expired at the end of July, according to Hernandez’s report.

When deputies approached the driver side of the truck, they immediately noticed an open can of Bud Light beer resting in the center console cup holder, Hernandez wrote.

They searched the car and found several small bags with cocaine and cocaine residue inside them, another baggie containing 1.6 grams of marijuana and a baggie containing four Xanax pills. The cocaine was not taken out of its baggie and weighed “due to officer safety reasons,” Hernandez wrote in his report.

Labanino and his passenger both denied the drugs were theirs.

Labanino was jailed on a $9,000 bond.

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