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Charlotte man arrested after deputies say he ate cocaine evidence

By Staff | Jul 16, 2010

A Charlotte man has been charged with tampering with evidence and possession of cocaine after he reportedly swallowed the drug during a traffic stop in an effort to conceal it.
A Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputy arrested Eli Mariner, 33, 2508 Ave “A” SW, Winter Haven, Thursday at Fawcett Memorial Hospital where he was treated for swallowing a large amount of cocaine.
The traffic stop was made Wednesday at Harbor and Olean boulevards at 3:37 a.m. A deputy saw Mariner place several pieces of a white substance from a prescription bottle into his mouth. He wouldn’t tell the deputy what he was chewing on.
As backup units arrived Mariner was given several commands to spit out what he was chewing; he refused and continued chewing, officials said, adding the deputy attempted to move Mariner’s hand from his mouth but he resisted and kept pulling away.
After several commands to spit out the white substance and refusing to get out of the vehicle, Mariner was tasered (drive stun) twice. He continued to resist violently and refused to open the passenger door; he was tasered (drive stun) two more times. He continued to resist and two deputies then pulled Mariner out of the vehicle and onto the ground where he had to be drive stun tasered again; he was then handcuffed. Due to the quantity of cocaine ingested, Mariner became incoherent; EMS was called and transported him to the hospital. He was admitted and a deputy stood by until he was released and then arrested.
Deputies tested the white substance in the bottle and also taken from Mariner’s lips which tested positive for cocaine, officials said. Officials said another bottle was found that also contained cocaine and, found in the seat where Mariner was sitting, was a baggie of marijuana.
Mariner was charged with Tampering with Evidence, Possession of Cocaine, Resisting, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of a Prescription Medication without a Prescription.
The driver, Jhoanna Jazmiz Avila, 20, of Orlando, was cited for Driving While License Was Suspended; she was released at the scene.
Due to Mariner’s criminal history, he remains in the Charlotte County Jail without bond.
Officials said this is Mariner’s fourth booking in Charlotte County; he was arrested Apr. 21, 2006 on a charge of Kidnapping, Robbery with a Firearm, and Possession of a Weapon as a Convicted Felon. When he got out of prison, he registered here June 23, 2009, as a Criminal Registrant. On May 1 of this year, he was arrested for Possession of Cocaine, and Possession of Marijuana and made bond.

Source: Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office