Couple jailed on multiple drug charges after passing out in car at Summerfield minimart

A Summerfield woman and an Ocala man were arrested early Wednesday morning after a Marion County sheriff’s deputy found them unconscious in a car with the engine running next to gas pumps at a minimart.

Jessica Ann Potter and Brandon Earl Rutledge

When the deputy arrived at the Summerfield Circle K, located at 14870 S U.S. Hwy. 441, he found 23-year-old Jessica Ann Potter slumped over the steering wheel of a silver Chevrolet Impala and 29-year-old Brandon Earl Rutledge unconscious in the passenger seat. The deputy saw several syringes lying on the driver’s seat and the floorboard, along with a spoon next to Potter’s leg that “appeared to have a substance on it,” a sheriff’s office report states.

The deputy tapped on the driver’s window several times before Potter and Rutledge “became alert.” He asked Potter to roll down her window and she used her body to block his view as she “began putting the paraphernalia items into a purse” sitting in the middle of the vehicle’s console. The deputy also saw her pick up a plastic bag containing a brown substance from her seat and place that inside the purse as well, the report says.

Potter eventually rolled down her window and told the deputy she didn’t have a valid driver’s license. The deputy told them what he had observed and asked if there were narcotics in the vehicle. Both Potter and Rutledge “initially remained quiet,” but Potter then admitted there was “weed” and heroin inside the vehicle, the report says.

A search of the vehicle turned up:

  • Several small plastic baggies on the front seat;
  • Several syringes on the floorboard and front seat;
  • A plastic bag of a green leafy substance that tested positive for marijuana;
  • A plastic bag of a pink crystal-like substance that tested positive for methamphetamine;
  • A brown powder-like substance that tested positive for heroin (7.5 grams);
  • A pink hard case containing one used syringe;
  • A glass pipe with a brown residue;
  • 10 orange oval tablets with “153” imprinted on them that were identified as bupreneorphine hydrochloride, a Schedule II prescription medication;
  • A piece of foil containing a white powder that tested positive for cocaine;
  • A piece of foil containing a white crystal-like substance that tested positive for cocaine;
  • A digital scale with a white powder residue on it; and
  • A grinder containing a green leafy substance.

After being read her rights, Potter told the deputy that the marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, prescription pills, syringes and drug paraphernalia belonged to her.  

After Rutledge exited the vehicle, the deputy found a partially smoked cigarette, that field tested positive for marijuana, in-between the passenger seat and door. The deputy also found two unused syringes and a bupreneorphine hydrochloride pill in his pants pockets, the report says.

Rutledge then told the deputy that the partially smoked marijuana cigarette, the pill and “syringes that he uses to inject heroin” belonged to him, the report says, adding that he also told the deputy the “weed” and heroin he would find inside the vehicle wasn’t his.

Both Potter and Rutledge were taken into custody and transported to the Marion County Jail. Potter was charged with heroin trafficking (4 grams to under 30 kilograms), possession of controlled substances without a prescription (methamphetamine and buprenorphine), possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana (not more than 20 grams) and possession of drug equipment. She was released early Thursday morning on $33,000 bond.

Rutledge was charged with possession of a controlled substance (buprenorphine), possession of marijuana (not more than 20 grams) and possession of drug equipment. He was being held on $10,000 bond and is due in court on Jan. 8 at 9 a.m. to answer to the charges.