Driver arrested on drug charges


A 31-year-old Key Largo man was arrested Tuesday night for hit-and-run and drug charges after striking a sign and leaving the scene.


Edward Michael Fuller was charged with hit and run/leaving the scene of a crash involving damage to property, DUI, possession of methamphetamines and possession of marijuana.


Deputy Scott Costa was on patrol at approximately 7:05 p.m. when he received a report of a reckless driver southbound on U.S. 1 who may have struck a sign. Deputy Costa got behind the vehicle on the Old Highway near Mile Marker 90. The suspect vehicle, a Buick, veered off the road onto the dirt shoulder and then drifted into oncoming traffic. It then drifted onto the shoulder so much that all four tires were on the dirt.


Deputy Costa conducted a traffic stop. The driver, identified as Fuller, was moving about in the vehicle. Deputy Costa noticed a syringe and a box cutter at his feet in the vehicle. Deputy Ashley Monaco arrived to assist. Fuller was placed into custody. An odor or marijuana was emanating from the vehicle. Sgt. Vaughn O’Keefe and a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper arrived on scene.


Another syringe was found under the driver’s seat as well as 30 small, 50ML empty bottles of whiskey. A partially smoked marijuana cigarette was also found.


The Trooper went to the scene of the crash and found pieces of Fuller’s vehicle there, such as his side mirror.


Fuller said he was having difficulty breathing, so he was taken to Mariners Hospital in Tavernier where he began screaming and generally being disruptive.


Fuller was medically cleared at the hospital and taken to jail.



Two arrested after traffic stop on drug/gun charges


A Homestead man and a Miami man were arrested Monday night after a traffic stop on U.S. 1.


Jermaine Lee Franklin, 37, of Miami, was charged with possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Antonio Nathaniel Franklin, 39, of Homestead, was charged with driving on a suspended license, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.


The case began at 11:58 p.m. when both men —Antonio was the driver — were stopped by Deputy Cristian Santos in a Nissan Altima on U.S. 1 after spotting them near Mile Marker 112. Deputy Jorge Moreno previously instructed both men not to drive earlier that night after learning both had suspended driver’s licenses. Deputy Corbin Hradecky arrived on scene. The odor of marijuana was emanating from the vehicle. Deputy Casey Matthews arrived and placed Antonio Franklin in his patrol vehicle.


Deputy Santos searched Jermaine Franklin and found a loaded .380-pistol tucked into his belt. Deputy Hradecky found 5.3 grams of marijuana in the sunglass holder of the vehicle. Another .3 grams of marijuana was found in the glove box. Rolling papers and a scale was also found in the vehicle. A pistol holster as found under the front passenger seat.


Both men were taken to jail.