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The Villages

Speeding Summerfield man nabbed on drug charges after deputy smells marijuana

John Bernie Knowles

A Summerfield man found himself behind bars Tuesday morning after being stopped for speeding and having a tag border that obstructed features on his license plate.

A Marion County sheriff’s deputy stopped the black 2017 Chevrolet Colorado pickup truck at 10:41 a.m. in the 9700 block of S.E. Sunset Harbor Road and spoke with the driver, 37-year-old John Bernie Knowles. The deputy reported that Knowles was traveling at 46 mph in a 35-mph zone.

The deputy noted the smell of burnt marijuana emitting from the vehicle. After checking Knowles’ license, he asked him to exit the vehicle and told him he smelled marijuana. Knowles said he didn’t have a marijuana card but had just left a residence where multiple people were smoking the drug, a sheriff’s office report states.

During a search of the vehicle, the deputy located a black vape pen in a storage area in the center console beneath the radio, which was within Knowles’ reach, the report says.

The deputy located a cartridge labeled Trulieve that contained a dark, amber-colored substance that tested positive for THC content. A lieutenant also located a second driver’s license for Knowles that had been replaced. Knowles’ other license was inside his wallet, the report says.

Prior to interviewing Knowles, he made a “spontaneous utterance” advising the deputy that the vape pen and cartridge contained CBD oil. After being read his rights, Knowles claimed the vape pen and the cartridge belonged to his uncle. He said he was aware they were in the vehicle and hadn’t returned them. He also said he had a second driver’s license because he doesn’t always have his wallet and leaves one in his vehicle, the report says.

Knowles, who lives at 14375 S.E. 98th Ave. in Summerfield, was taken into custody and en route to the Marion County Jail he told a deputy that the vape pen and cartridge had been in his vehicle for the past month, according to the report.

Knowles was charged with possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of more than one driver’s license and possession and/or use of drug equipment. He was released early Wednesday morning on $3,500 bond and his next court date hasn’t yet been set, jail records show.

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