California man arrested with 10 pounds of marijuana in Estero

Reporter: Morgan Rynor Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Branden Anthony Charles – Photo courtesy of Lee County Jail.

A California man was arrested in Estero after his Uber driver demanded he leave the car on suspicion of possessing marijuana.

On Saturday, Florida Highway Patrol arrested Branden Anthony Charles, 38, after he was found in possession of 10 pounds of marijuana in the parking lot of the Embassy Suites hotel on Corkscrew Road in Estero.

Photo courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol.

According to the FHP release, Charles faces felony charges for Possession of Marijuana Over 20 Grams and Intent to Sell.

According to the FHP release, Charles’ Uber driver, who chose to remain anonymous due to fear for personal safety, became suspicious when he said Charles and his suitcase smelled of marijuana.

The Uber driver told WINK News he refused to continue transporting Charles to his destination and demanded Charles leave the vehicle in the parking lot of the Embassy Suites hotel.

The driver also told WINK News the Uber app helped assist in FHP tracking down his car in order to arrest Charles. Through the app, the driver alerted his wife using the Share My Trip feature and was able to share location and communicate he was in distress and needed assistance from law enforcement. The driver said he will no longer work for Uber because of continued fear for his safety.

“I want them to be safe,” the driver told WINK News on record in the video above. “I want them to know about the [Share my Trip] feature because there are a lot of women, single women, that are driving Uber just to get by. They should know that this works, and they should use it.”

According to the arrest report, Charles’ last known home address is in Los Angeles, California.

According to the FHP release, Charles was also found in possession of $15,000 in cash.

Charles was put behind bars at Lee County Jail and paid bond posted at $5,000.

Charles is scheduled to appear in court in March.

Trust WINK News to update you as more information becomes available. 

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