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Separate traffic stops lead to three accused of drug possession in Cape

By Staff | May 22, 2009

Two traffic stops along Veterans Parkway, within minutes of each other Wednesday evening, lead to three arrests for the possession and sale of heroin.
The arrests, two at 9:39 p.m. and one at 9:44 p.m., were the result of separate traffic stops — one for following too closely and the other for broken taillight — which lead to the reported discovery of narcotics by K-9 officer Jason Matyas and his dog, Zuke.
The stops were initiated separately by street officers Robert Luzarraga, Christopher Lucas, Doug Coons and Sgt. James O’Brien.
The arrests did not seem to be related, said Sgt. Lisa Barnes, a spokesperson for the Cape Coral Police Department.
“I think (the officers) just got really lucky,” she said of the felony arrests. “They did a good job.”
Michael W. Defoe Jr., 36, of Fort Myers, was pulled over by Luzarraga and Coons for following too closely in a Honda, less than a car length behind the car in front of him along Veterans Parkway, according to an arrest report.
Matyas and Zuke were called in as backup and reportedly discovered 14 grams of powdered heroin in the car, individually packaged in small baggies.
Defoe denied knowledge of the drugs and said they may have belonged to various individuals whom his wife lets drive his car since she does not have a license, the report states.
He was charged with possession of heroin with intent to sell.
Minutes earlier, Lucas and O’Brien pulled over a Ford with a reported broken left tail light on Veterans, with occupants Brittney Santos, 19, of Alva, and Erica Racz, 21, of Bokeelia.
Matyas and Zuke arrived as backup and Zuke was alerted to the presence of narcotics, according to reports.
Racz reportedly said, “I will save you the trouble, what you are looking for is in a box in the trunk. Now I want my lawyer.”
Reports state the officers found a brown box in the trunk of the car with two clear plastic bags of powdered heroin and a cutting agent, totalling 57.1 grams. They also reportedly found a bag of marijuana in Racz’s purse.
Racz was charged with possession of heroin over 10 grams, possession of marijuana less than 20 grams and possession of narcotic equipment. She posted a combined $32,000 bond and was released from the Lee County Jail Thursday.
Santos was charged with possession of heroin over 10 grams and possession of narcotic equipment. She was released from the Lee County Jail Thursday on $31,000 bond.
Defoe has posted $5,000 bond and been released from the Lee County Jail.