Traffic stop leads to three arrests on drug-related charges
On Thursday, March 24, at approximately 3:22 p.m., members of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Highway Interdiction Unit were patrolling I-75 in North Fort Myers near southbound mile marker 143. Deputies conducted a traffic stop on a 2001 Nissan Pathfinder for having illegal window tint on the front and back windows.
Inside the vehicle were three occupants reportedly traveling from Tampa to Miami. Upon making contact with the driver, the deputy noticed the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and several other indicators of criminal activity. The deputy utilized his assigned K-9 partner “Guinness” to conduct a free air sniff of the vehicle. The K-9 gave a positive alert to the odor of illegal narcotics coming from the interior of the vehicle.
According to a report from the Sheriff’s Office, a search of the vehicle resulted in the discovery of a bag of high quality marijuana, a cooler full of cereal treats mixed with marijuana, a large canister of nitrous oxide gas and a vacuumed sealed bag containing several bags of ecstasy based amphetamine powder.
The report indicates the total weight of the recovered marijuana was more than three quarters of a pound. The recovered amphetamine powder weighed 11 grams. It was revealed the suspects intended to sell gas from the nitrous oxide canister for inhalation at a concert in Miami.
None of the occupants were licensed practitioners authorized to possess or distribute the nitrous oxide.
At the conclusion of the investigation, Nicholas William Wharton, 23; Adam M. Shade, 24; and Sylvie Anna Heaterington, 26, were arrested and charged with one count of trafficking in phenethylamines 10 grams or more, one count of possession of over 16 grams of nitrous oxide, one count of possession of over 20 grams of marijuana with intent to distribute, one count of possession of marijuana under 20 grams and one count of possession of narcotics paraphernalia
All three suspects are from the Tampa area. They have been transported to the Lee County Jail.