Eustis man with hefty criminal record popped with backpack full of drugs

Orion Hunter Manis

A Eustis man who fled from Lake County sheriff’s deputies was arrested early Wednesday morning and faces a litany of drug and traffic-related charges.

Sheriff’s Street Crimes deputies were attempting to locate a person with an active Lake County warrant in the Leesburg area when they spotted an unoccupied vehicle with a long-expired license plate that wasn’t legally assigned to it. A short time later, a man and woman exited a business and left in the vehicle, a sheriff’s office report states.

Deputies attempted a traffic stop in Tavares near U.S. Hwy. 441 and County Road 473, where the vehicle came to a stop after getting stuck in sand. The driver, later identified as 32-year-old Orion Hunter Manis, then fled on foot and attempted to pass off a backpack to his female passenger, the sheriff’s office report says, adding that deputies quickly caught and took Manis into custody.

Lake County Sheriff’s Street Crimes deputies reported finding more than 30 grams of methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, a digital scale and items used to package and sell narcotics inside a backpack owned by 32-year-old Orion Hunter Manis, of Eustis.

Manis’ backpack allegedly contained more than 30 grams of methamphetamine, heroin, marijuana, a digital scale and items used to package and sell narcotics. Deputies also discovered that he had multiple license suspensions and prior arrests for driving with a suspended license, the report says.

The passenger, who wasn’t identified in the report, was arrested on an active Lake County warrant for driving on a suspended license and theft, the report says.

Manis, who has been booked through the Lake County Jail 20 times, was charged with trafficking methamphetamine (14 grams or more), possession of hallucinogens with intent to sell, possession of marijuana not more than 20 grams, possession of drug equipment, driving with a suspended license (third or subsequent offense), failure to register a motor vehicle and resisting an officer without violence. He is due to appear in a Lake County courtroom on March 4 at 8:30 a.m. to answer to the charges.