A traffic stop that began for a burned out headlight ended with deputies seizing 219 grams of fentanyl and arresting a fugitive wanted in Volusia County and Orange County.
“Sometimes, the small things lead to big things."
— RICK STALY, Flagler County sheriff
A Flagler County deputy pulled over a white Dodge Charger at about 12:37 a.m. Sept. 14 at the intersection State Road 100 and Belle Terre Parkway because the car's left headlight was out, according to an arrest report. (View body camera footage of the traffic stop HERE.)
The driver, a woman, rolled down the window, and the deputy could smell marijuana in the car. He asked her if she had a medical marijuana card.
She said no.
But her passenger, 52-year-old Adrian Rivers, said yes — and admitted that he'd smoked marijuana about an hour before, according to the arrest report.
A Florida Highway Patrol trooper arrived on scene and pulled up Rivers' data in a law enforcement database, finding that Rivers had active arrest warrants for violating probation for a cocaine possession offense. And although he'd had a medical marijuana card in the past, the database showed, the card was no longer valid.
The Flagler County deputy searched the car, finding a gray backpack containing gallon-size plastic bags of fentanyl and marijuana. The bag contained the man's business cards.
Deputies arrested Rivers on charges of trafficking in fentanyl (28 grams or more) and possession of marijuana with intent to sell, both felonies.
They seized the drugs, ultimately finding a total of 219 grams of fentanyl and 533 grams of marijuana, according to an FCSO news release.
“Sometimes, the small things lead to big things," Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said, according to the news release. “In this case, we seized enough fentanyl to kill over 100,000 people, or the entire cities of Palm Coast, Flagler Beach and Bunnell combined."
For fentanyl, 2 mg is considered a potentially lethal dose, according to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimate.
Rivers has been sentenced to seven terms in Florida prison in the past for crimes including grand theft auto, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, burglary, forgery, selling cocaine and fleeing and eluding law enforcement, according to the news release.