Faulty tag light leads to Lady Lake man being arrested on drug charges

Michael Anthony Stella

A Lady Lake man who was stopped in Leesburg Tuesday night for a malfunctioning license tag light soon found himself behind bars on drug charges.

A corporal with the Leesburg Police Department stopped a silver four-door SUV driven by 28-year-old Michael Anthony Stella at about 9:46 p.m. in the parking lot of the Sunoco gas station at 1200 W. Main Street. While the officer was writing Stella a written warning, a K-9 dog conducted a free air sniff of the vehicle. The K-9 alerted, indicated the likely presence of narcotics, so Stella and his juvenile passenger were asked to step out of the vehicle, a report states.

As Stella prepared to get out of the SUV, the K-9 officer saw him sitting on a clear baggie containing two circular white pills that were later identified as Oxycodone Hydrochloride. A red straw with a white residue on it also was found in Stella’s front left pocket, the report says.

Officers searched the juvenile and found a L&M cigarette pack in his left pants leg that contained five burnt ends of marijuana cigarettes with a total weight of 1.9 grams. They also found a white cake-like substance weighing one gram that field-tested positive for cocaine and a small plastic bag containing 1.5 grams of marijuana, the report says.

Stella and the juvenile were booked at the Leesburg Police Department and then transported to the Lake County Jail. Stella, who lives at 449 Cierra Oaks Circle, D101 in Lady Lake, was charged with possession of a controlled substance (Oxycodone) and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released late Wednesday afternoon on $3,000 bond and is due in court June 22 at 8:30 a.m.

The juvenile was medically cleared and charged with possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) and possession of marijuana less than 20 grams, according to the report.

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