The Charlotte County Sheriff's Street Crimes Unit made a traffic stop on a driver who ran a stop sign Wednesday night and found 209 marijuana plants in the car.
According to the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office, the incident occurred at Birchcrest Blvd. and Gibralter Drive in Port Charlotte.
When deputies approached the driver, 23-year-old Matthew Allen Ward, they observed a large plastic tray in the back seat with the pot plants.
Deputies said they detected the smell of recently burned marijuana coming from inside the car. Ward appeared nervous and was shaking, and then deputies saw a plastic baggie and rolling papers sticking out of his right front pocket in plain view.
Total weight of the marijuana seized was 43.2 grams. Based on the evidence collected, Street Crimes deputies had probable cause to charge Ward with Cultivation of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana over 20 Grams, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Driving Without a Valid Driver's License. He was transported to the Charlotte County Jail with bond set at $9,000.
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