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Two face drug-related charges

By Staff | Jun 28, 2011

A local woman and man are facing drug-related charges after police discovered marijuana pipes and bongs in their vehicle, along with five children.
Ashley Lyn Garrison, 23, of 773 March St., Fort Myers, was arrested and charged Saturday with possession and or use of narcotic equipment, while Phillip Charles Winters, 24, of 823 S.E. 20th Court, Cape Coral, was charged with DUI unlawful blood alcohol .15 or higher or with person under 18.
Both had been released from the Lee County Jail as of Tuesday.
According to police, Cape officers responded to a reckless driver compliant at Del Prado Boulevard and Viscaya Parkway at 6:45 p.m. The caller reported that it appeared the driver of a Chevy van was smoking a bong while driving.
Police located the van at a gas station in the 1500 block of Northeast Pine Island Road. Officers made contact with the driver, Winters, who appeared to be impaired. Five children, ages 1-6, were inside the van, along with Garrison.
Winters allegedly told police that he had smoked marijuana eight hours earlier.
A K-9 unit responded and an open air sniff of the vehicle was conducted.
According to a police report, K-9 Officer Kevin “alerted” on the van.
A search of the vehicle revealed several marijuana pipes and bongs. The drug paraphernalia was intermingled with children’s toys that were inside the van, police said.
Police officials reported that marijuana reside was also discovered.
Winters was placed under arrest after participating in field sobriety tests.
Garrison was also taken into custody, according to the report.
During processing, Winters reportedly agreed to a urine test, but he later declined. He allegedly told police that the test would not fare well because he had smoked marijuana earlier that day.
Garrison and Winters have each been released on $1,000 bond.
Winters could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Garrison and her family declined to comment over the telephone.
According to the report, the children are staying with Garrison’s father.
Cape police contacted the Department of Children and Families regarding the incident. DCF staffers indicated Saturday that a report would be taken.
“We do have an open investigation,” Erin Gillespie, spokeswoman for DCF, said Tuesday.
She said DCF is dealing with two separate parents with children in this case, but Gillespie could not go into details as the investigation is not open to public record laws. She noted that the primary concern is for the children’s safety.
As of Tuesday, all five were with their respective family members.
Winters has a court appearance scheduled for July 11. Garrison has a court appearance scheduled for July 12.