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Separate stops on I-95, Sumter motel results in over $160K, thousands of grams of drugs seized

BY SHELBIE GOULDING
shelbie@theitem.com
Posted 5/27/20

Sumter County deputies seized more than $160,000 and thousands of grams of drugs in just two days of normal operation on May 16 and May 19. 

In total, deputies seized 3,657.735 grams of …

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Separate stops on I-95, Sumter motel results in over $160K, thousands of grams of drugs seized

Posted

Sumter County deputies seized more than $160,000 and thousands of grams of drugs in two days of normal operation on May 16 and May 19. 

In total, deputies seized 3,657.735 grams of marijuana, 1,022.7 grams of cocaine, 4.1 grams of crack, 23.25 grams of methamphetamine and 1 gram of heroin during three traffic stops and the execution of a search warrant, according to Deputy Adrienne Sarvis, public information officer for the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. 

On May 16, a deputy seized approximately $16,000 worth of marijuana during a traffic stop on Interstate 95 South.

After stopping 21-year-old Alex Siebel-Cortopassi, of Tampa, Florida, for speeding, the deputy reported he recognized the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The deputy also noticed Siebel-Cortopassi’s timeline about visiting a relative in Boston who needed toilet paper and other essential items did not add up to how long he had been traveling. 

The deputy found approximately 8 pounds of marijuana in vacuum sealed bags in the trunk of the car during a probable cause search, Sarvis said. 

Siebel-Cortopassi was arrested and charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and unlawful carry of a pistol, according to Sarvis. 

Deputies also seized $155,000 in cash during a traffic stop on I-95 on that same day because the driver could not provide documentation, required by law, stating how he obtained a large sum of money, Sarvis said. 

The driver, Darlens Renard, 30, of Boynton Beach, Florida, gave inconsistent responses to the deputies about his travels and was driving with a suspended license from Florida. 

According to Sarvis, a K9 gave a positive indication to contraband being inside the vehicle, and the deputy located a safe containing 16 stacks of $100 bills in the rear of the vehicle during a probable cause search. 

Renard was issued a citation for speeding and was required to wait for a licensed driver to continue his trip, Sarvis said. 

On May 19, a deputy seized more than a kilogram of cocaine and $4,733 in cash during a traffic stop on I-95 South.

The driver, 47-year-old Varian Scott, of West Palm Beach, Florida, was stopped for having heavily tinted windows, including the windshield, in violation of state law, Sarvis said. 

Scott gave the deputy consent to search the vehicle and stated he had something in the car that looked like cocaine but was not. 

The deputy found approximately 1,018 grams of suspected cocaine wrapped in cellophane and duct tape inside the vehicle, Sarvis said. The deputy also found $3,000 rubber banded together in large increments inside the car and an additional $1,733 in cash on Scott’s person. 

Scott was arrested and charged with trafficking cocaine more than 400 grams, and issued a citation for the window tint violation, Sarvis said. 

Investigators also executed a search warrant at a motel room in the 1200 block of Camden Highway on that same day, resulting in the seizure of more than 50 grams of various drugs and one arrest. 

According to Sarvis, investigators seized 29 grams of marijuana, 23.25 grams of methamphetamine, 4.1 grams of crack, 4.7 grams of cocaine, 5 grams of unknown white and brown substances and 1 gram of heroin. They also seized one firearm and $591 in cash. 

Deonte Perry, 25, of Gene Drive in Sumter, the sole occupant in the motel room, was arrested and charged with possession of a weapon during a violent crime, trafficking methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute crack and possession of a controlled substance, Sarvis said. 

“These seizures were made because of the deputies’ experience, training and dedication to what they do,” Sheriff Anthony Dennis said. “Sumter County is well taken care of because our deputies know what to look for.”