INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A driver who deputies said forced his passenger to stuff bags of narcotics – including fentanyl – down her pants during a traffic stop, was jailed over the weekend.
Anthony Gene Cooper, 52, of the 4400 block of 25th Avenue, Vero Beach, was charged with trafficking a controlled substance, possession of cocaine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of alprazolam, possession of marijuana under 20 grams and driving with a revoked license. Cooper was released Sunday from the Indian River County Jail on $66,500 bond.
Indian River County sheriff’s deputies began targeting Cooper after they suspected he was selling drugs, reports show. Deputies learned that Cooper was driving a Nissan Altima about 10:30 a.m. Saturday near the 1300 block of Old Dixie Highway.
A patrol deputy turned on his emergency siren and conducted a traffic stop on the Nissan. Cooper drove into the parking lot of a nearby Dollar General store.
The deputy said he saw Cooper moving around a lot in the vehicle. The deputy approached the car and spoke with Cooper, who said he had no license, reports show.
Cooper was ordered to step out of the vehicle. The deputy then put Cooper in hand restraints and placed him in the patrol car.
Another deputy spoke to the passenger. She said Cooper gave her the suspected drugs after being pulled over. The woman said Cooper forced her to hide the narcotics down the front of her pants.
The woman told deputies she was afraid Cooper would hurt her if she did not follow his instructions, reports show. The woman gave deputies the drug items which included the following:
- Five bags of fentanyl weighing 5.5 grams
- Bag(s) of methamphetamine weighing 2.9 grams
- Bag(s) of crack cocaine weighing 2.8 grams
- Two bags of marijuana weighing 11.8 grams
- One bag containing 9.5 bars of Alprazolam
Cooper was arrested and booked into the county jail. Cooper has an arraignment at 8:45 a.m. June 24, court records show.