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Manatee County’s Criminal Corner 1

You’re not in Kansas anymore “Pooh Bear”

A 19-year-old Bradenton woman faces a felony drug possession charge after drugs were found in her “Pooh Bear” backpack, according to the Palmetto Police Department.

Police say Candice Wortham was taken into custody on May 8 just after 7 p.m. at the Circle K store at 1150, 10th St. E.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Wortham was inside a vehicle with Kansas plates. Police ran the plate and found no valid records.

This led police to a traffic stop where a small amount of marijuana was found, as well as a, “Wonka Edibles,” bag filled with multi-colored gummy candies.

The bag had a government warning on it notifying the consumer of the cannabis content, stating, “For medical use only.”

According to police, Wortham said she does not have a medical marijuana card.

Police say Wortham admitted to having the small amount of marijuana but denied ownership of the medical cannabis.

When your cocaine is a “gift,” it’s still a crime

It was an arrest given to the Florida Highway Patrol on a silver platter, or in this case, a motorcycle wrapped with strobing lights.

Joel Gutierrez Suarez, 47, was arrested May 9 just after 9 p.m. on 301 Blvd. E. near the 15th Street East split.

According to the FHP, Saurez drove by a trooper on a white motorcycle, “with red and blue lights strobing. The red and blue lights were wrapped around the entire bike.”

This certainly got the attention of the trooper who observed Suarez passing vehicles on the shoulder of the road.

A traffic stop was initiated at which time Suarez said he did not have a driver’s license and attempted to give the trooper a fake name.

Suarez was taken into custody for those charges, at which time cocaine was located on his person. The cocaine, “was given to him by some guy as a gift,” the report states.

Bradenton man arrested for attempted murder

A 20-year-old Bradenton man was arrested May 11 on an attempted murder arrest warrant, which Manatee detectives say occurred the day before at about 10:30 p.m. in the 5800 block of Fifth Street East.

Deputies say Raul Ibanez Cruz stabbed another man three times following a verbal argument and said he intended to kill the victim.

The victim was life-alerted to Blake Medical Center where he underwent emergency surgery and is expected to survive, according to the arrest warrant.

Violent Crimes Task Force nabs a meth dealer

A 30-year-old Bradenton man faces multiple felony drug charges after being arrested May 8 at around 3:30 a.m. in the 3200 block of 54th Drive East in Bradenton.

Deputies their Violent Crimes Task Force was searching for DeAnthony Simpson on multiple arrest warrants when he was located.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Simpson unsuccessfully tried to flee in his vehicle and was throwing what turned out to be several bags of drugs out the window during the chase.

Deputies say Simpson eventually crashed into some bushes and was taken into custody. According to the report, deputies found a loaded handgun, four cell phones, 13 grams of rock cocaine and 27.55 grams of methamphetamine.

Simpson had a passenger with him that had been listed as missing and endangered out of Bradenton. She was arrested for trafficking with intent to sell.

Deputies found additional drugs in the bags that Simpson attempted to throw out the window to include additional grams of rock cocaine, ecstasy and methamphetamine.

Simpson had just been found guilty on May 5 for fleeing to elude and was awaiting sentencing. He has prior drug arrests.

Eye in the sky

Just because a sheriff’s deputy stops following you when you run, doesn’t mean you aren’t being tracked.

An 18-year-old Bradenton man found that out the hard way when he was arrested May 5 at about 6:30 p.m. in the 4800 block of First Avenue East in Palmetto.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Paul Little was observed in a stolen vehicle and fled the area when a Manatee County sheriff’s deputy attempted to pull him over.

Due to his erratic driving, the deputy stopped the pursuit when the Manatee County sheriff’s air unit began to track Little. Deputies say Little abandoned the vehicle when he realized the deputy was no longer behind him and ran away on foot.

The air unit observed Little throwing something into a garbage can as he fled, which was determined to be 25 grams of marijuana. Deputies took Little into custody a short time later.

According to the report, Little told deputies he didn’t want to stop because he didn’t want to go to jail for the weed. However, Little also told deputies he knew the car was stolen, but, “I’m not the one who stole it,” Little told deputies.

Little was charged with felony possession of marijuana, felony fleeing to elude and felony motor vehicle theft.

Sex offender fails to register

A 54-year-old Bradenton man is back behind bars after failing to meet his legal obligations as a registered sex offender.

According to the arrest warrant, Lee Williams Jr., was arrested in 1996 for sexual battery on a child under the age of 12, but convicted on a lesser charge after plea bargaining down to lewd and lascivious behavior.

Williams spent seven years in prison and initially registered in Manatee County in 2006. Williams failed to register as required by May 6 and an arrest warrant was issued.

Williams was arrested on the warrant May 10 in the 200 block of 52nd Street West just after 1 p.m. and charged with felony failing to register.

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