2 facing drug charges after traffic stop in Port Charlotte

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Tiffany Carmello (L) and Anel Estremera (Credit: CCSO booking photos)

Two Port Charlotte residents were arrested and face drug charges after a traffic stop.

A Charlotte County sheriff’s deputy on Saturday saw an SUV run a stop sign, and when he tried to pull it over, the driver kept going. The report said the deputy saw the driver making unusual movements inside the vehicle before finally pulling over near Sheenan Boulevard and Walton Avenue. The SUV was missing its windshield, the report states, and the driver, Tiffany Carmello, was nervous and fidgety.

The deputy spotted several knives within reach of Carmello and her passenger, Anel Estermera, so he asked both to step out of the SUV.

As Carmello got out, she reached down and adjusted something in her waist area. The deputy also noticed some items in the vehicle which are commonly associated with the smoking of crack-cocaine. A K-9 alerted to the presence of drugs in the vehicle, and the deputy then found a glass smoking pipe with white residue and a small, pink pouch containing a trace amount of white powder. Both of these items tested positive for cocaine.

Because Carmello, 34, was acting strangely, he believed she was concealing more items, so he requested a female deputy to respond and search Carmello, which led to her admitting that she was concealing more items in her groin area. She then removed two glass pipes and a small glass container, which contained a white substance and a small baggie of a crystal-like substance. The white substance tested positive for crack cocaine, and the crystal substance was determined to be methamphetamine.

Carmello is facing charges of possession of a controlled substance (x2) and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was also issued a warning for the traffic violation. She was released Sunday on $12,500 bond.

Estremera, 37, is facing a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was out on bond for fleeing to elude from a previous incident, CCSO said. He has since been released on $2,500 bond for the new charge.

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