Columbia traffic stop leads to meth arrests

Police find meth, hypodermic needles, scale inside car

By Erik Avanier - Reporter, David Benfield - Web producer

(From left) Cory Blair Bannister, 26, Timothy Paul Fountain, 33, Rubyann Nicole Avallone, 29, booking photos

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Fla. - A man and two women were arrested for having meth Thursday following a traffic stop on Interstate 75, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said. 

Police said a deputy who was watching southbound Interstate 75 traffic spotted Rubyann Avallone, 29, driving with an illegally tinted windshield. 

The deputy said Avallone was driving erratically, drifting in and out of the next lane, before he pulled her over. 

The Sheriff’s Office said Avallone didn’t have a driver’s license, insurance or registration paperwork, and her two passengers, Timothy Fountain, 33, and Cory Bannister, 26, said they didn’t have identification. 

Avallone eventually admitted that she was diving on a suspended license, police said. 
Due to Avallone’s erratic driving, deputies called a K-9 unit and was positively alerted to the driver’s side, police said. 

After searching the car, the Sheriff’s Office said deputies found a red bag under Fountain and Bannister’s seat containing several hypodermic needles. An oxycodone pill was also found in the seat next to Fountain, police said.  

A clear baggy containing 28 grams of crystal meth was found on the driver’s side, police said. The amount in the bag constitutes a trafficking charge. 

On the passenger’s side, deputies found a Crown Royal bag containing various paraphernalia, hypodermic needles and a few grams of meth, police said. 

Deputies also found a casino card with Bannister's name on it, folded up inside the Crown Royal bag with meth residue on it, police said. 

Avallone, Fountain and Bannister were booked into the Columbia County Jail. Fountain is being held without bond. 

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