Wednesday, January 20, 2021
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The Villages

Wildwood police officer lauded for seizure of handgun and illegal narcotics

Wildwood Police Officer Justin Pope, shown in a December 2019 photo.

A Wildwood police officer is being praised for getting a large quantity of illegal narcotics and a handgun off the streets of the community.

Officer Justin Pope conducted a traffic stop Monday at 10 p.m. at the intersection of 4th Street and Ross Street. As the vehicle came to a stop, one of the rear passengers attempted to flee. Pope caught up to the man and a struggle ensued, a Wildwood Police report states.

The suspect was wearing an oversized hoodie and managed to slide out of it and free himself from Pope’s grasp. He then fled the area and hasn’t yet been located, the report says.

Upon examining the hoodie, Pope discovered that the pockets contained a .380-caliber pistol and large amounts of illegal narcotics – 57 grams of methamphetamine, 28 grams of cocaine, seven grams of heroin and 100 grams of marijuana.

Through further investigation, officers identified a suspect and attempts are being made to obtain an arrest warrant. Police say the large amounts of narcotics recovered would indicate that the suspect was either transporting the drugs to another area for resale or had intentions of distributing them throughout the community.

“The fact that this individual was armed creates even further concerns that acts of violence may have occurred if left undeterred,” the report states.

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