A traffic stop on a Mercedes Benz driving with no lights on early Friday morning turned into a much bigger deal for the driver after Florida Keys deputies said they found a large amount of marijuana, two guns and two runaways from Miami-Dade County in the car.
Rickie Santiago Pacheco, 23, faces charges of carrying a concealed firearm without a license, possessing a firearm while committing a felony, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of drug paraphernalia, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and interfering with the custody of a minor.
He's in county jail on Stock Island, and his bond information was not immediately available.
Monroe County sheriff's deputies pulled over his four-door Mercedes around 1 a.m. Friday behind the Seagrapes Apartment complex at 7155 Overseas Highway. Deputy Megan Faison wrote in her report that she asked a 22-year-old female passenger in the front seat to roll her window all the way down so he could safely look inside the car, since it had dark tinted windows.
Once the windows were down, Faison said she smelled a strong odor of both burnt and fresh marijuana coming from inside the car.
Two teenage boys, ages 15 and 17, were sitting in the backseat. Deputies ran a check on their names and found out they were runaways from Dade, Faison said.
The 17-year-old was clutching a backpack, according to the report. Inside the bag, deputies found 37 liquid marijuana cartridges used for vaping.
Deputies checked the car and found 38 more marijuana vaping products, a loaded Taurus .40 caliber handgun, a Smith and Wesson SD40 VE handgun, five 12-gauge shotgun shells, 57 .22 magnum bullets, and one 9 mm bullet, as well as various drug equipment, including rolling papers and a marijuana grinder, according to the report.
Deputies found the Taurus inside a fanny pack located in the back seat. Pacheco told cops the gun belonged to the 17-year-old, who was also arrested and turned over to juvenile justice authorities, Adam Linhardt, sheriff's office spokesman, said.
The Smith and Wesson was in the center console of the car, Faison said. Pacheco does not have a concealed carry permit for the weapon, according to the report.
Pacheco waived his Miranda rights, according to the report, and told deputies he picked up the 17-year-old in Miami and the 15-year-old in Homestead. He said he knew the older boy was missing, but not the younger teen, Faison said.
The woman in the front seat was not arrested, nor was the 15-year-old. Deputies drove him to the COVID-19 checkpoint at mile marker 112.5 on U.S. 1, where his parents picked him up, Linhardt said.