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Former commissioner jailed after reportedly testing positive for drugs

By Staff | Feb 6, 2013

A former Lee County commissioner is being held without bond after he tested positive for drugs, violating his pretrial supervision conditions.

On Tuesday, Andrew Brian Bigelow, 49, of 1229 Vesper Drive, Fort Myers, was picked up by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office on an outstanding warrant.

Taken into custody, he was transported to the Lee County Jail for booking.

According to the warrant, Bigelow must submit to random drug screenings with no positive or diluted results as one condition of his pretrial supervision. Recently, Bigelow submitted to a screening and tested positive for cocaine.

The warrant for his arrest was signed on Monday.

Bigelow is being held on two counts of drug equipment possess and or use, along with one count each of cocaine possess and loitering or prowling.

The charges stem from an arrest on Jan. 18.

Shortly after midnight, Fort Myers police stopped Bigelow in the area of 1015 Marsh Ave. According to a report, officers observed that his hands were shaking, as if he was nervous, and he was stuttering and sweating.

A K-9 unit responded to scene and alerted to Bigelow’s vehicle.

A search of the vehicle revealed a small bag of cocaine under the front passenger seat, the report states. Eleven small bags containing cocaine – total weight of 2.15 grams – and a cut straw were located on Bigelow.

He was taken into custody and charged.

A passenger in Bigelow’s vehicle, Markis S. Avila, 22, of 1017 Marsh Ave., Fort Myers, was arrested and charged with cocaine possess and loitering or prowling. He has since been released from the county jail on $2,000 bond.

As of Wednesday, the state had not filed official charges against Avila.

Prior to last month’s arrest, Bigelow was given a criminal citation for reportedly allowing an unauthorized person to drive a motor vehicle.

On Nov. 7, a Lee County deputy conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle for reportedly failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign at Nuna Avenue and Tice Street in Tice. Bigelow was riding in the front passenger’s seat.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as David Alexander Henley, 19, of 3828 Arnold Drive, Fort Myers. Henley did not possess a valid license.

He was arrested and charged with operate motor vehicle without valid license, cocaine possess and marijuana possess not more than 20 grams.

Henley has since been released from the Lee County Jail on $3,000 bond. He is currently participating in a pretrial diversion program for the charges.

At the scene, Bigelow reportedly stated the vehicle was his rental car.

He was cited for the second-degree misdemeanor and released.

Bigelow has a court appearance for the charge scheduled for Feb. 15.

He then has a court date set for Feb. 18 for the pretrial violation.

Bigelow is the former District 2 Lee County commissioner. He tendered his resignation in May to run for Lee County Clerk of Courts. He was unsuccessful in his bid.

Reporter Chuck Ballaro contributed to this report.