ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - A traffic stop on Interstate 95 in St. Johns County over the weekend led to the discovery of 10 pounds of marijuana and an illegal firearm.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, a trooper pulled over the car on northbound I-95 shortly after 11:30 p.m. that night after noticing the vehicle had an expired registration decal on the license plate.
Troopers said the vehicle, driven by 33-year-old Michael Anthony Simon, of Orlando, smelled of marijuana and there was a small amount of the substance sitting in plain sight in the car.
Besides the small bag of marijuana in the center console, the trooper found an unzipped duffel bag containing 10 pounds of marijuana in the trunk, according to Simon’s arrest report.
"Ten pounds of marijuana is going to give off a scent," News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said.
The search also turned up a loaded Glock 22 .40-caliber handgun with 22 rounds in the magazine.Simon was not allowed to have or use a firearm or ammunition because he is a convicted felon.
The arrest report described the first nine bullets in the magazine as Advanced Energy Transfer Rounds called RIP, which break apart before entry, causing multiple wounds with the same round. News4Jax contacted multiple gun stores in the Jacksonville area, and was told they do not keep those bullets on store shelves and the bullets have to be ordered online. When News4Jax contacted the company that makes the bullets, G2 Research, the owner confirmed the bullets have to be ordered.
"A person carrying those kinds of rounds wants to eliminate the threat totally," Jefferson said.
Simon was arrested on 23 counts of illegal weapon possession by a felon and one count of marijuana possession. He was booked into the St. Johns County jail on $26,000 bond.
🔶🔷Great work Troop G! 🔷🔶
Trooper stops vehicle for expired tag, nets 10.3 pounds of Cannabis and a loaded firearm by a convicted felon. Firearm was loaded with RIP rounds (Advanced Energy Transfer). Great job getting this contraband & criminal out of our troop. pic.twitter.com/VEOcpINrN1 — FHPJacksonville (@FHPJacksonville) October 30, 2019
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