Arrest of a Punta Gorda suspect seizes vape pen THC cartridges, pills

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Mugshot of Norberto Rodriguez Jr., 38. (Credit: Charlotte County Sheriff's Office)
Mugshot of Norberto Rodriguez Jr., 38. (Credit: Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office)

An arrest of a Punta Gorda suspect led to the seizure of many THC vape pen cartridges and other drugs inside his car, after a trooper made a traffic stop for a window tint violation.

The suspect, Norberto Rodriguez Jr., 38, faces charges of one count of smuggling marijuana into the state, one counts of possessing over 20 grams of marijuana, one count of drug paraphernalia, one count of marijuana deliver, one count of possession of a control substance without a prescription and one count of bringing contraband into a county detention facility.

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper made a traffic stop Tuesday around 10:30 p.m. on State Rd. 93 at MM 161 for failing to maintain a single lane and a window tint violation. Rodriguez was breathing heavily and changing his answers about his trip itinerary, the FHP arrest report states. The trooper brought out his drug-detecting canine.

A search inside the trunk of his black Honda Accord found 40 glass jars containing 10 250-MG THC edibles and 65 vape pen cartridges containing 1000-MG THC with high purity, per the arrest report. Later on in Charlotte County Jail, a deputy found an Alprazolam tablet inside the suspect’s sock.

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