Ocala man behind bars after sheriff’s K-9 detects cocaine in his vehicle

Paul Levi Garrard

An Ocala man who was pulled over for traffic violations was arrested Tuesday after a drug-sniffing dog detected the presence of cocaine in his vehicle.

A Marion County sheriff’s deputy stopped Paul Levi Garrard, 42, of 3360 SW 46th Ave., in his white Ford van after observing him fail to stop at a stop sign at the intersection of SW 69th Court and SW Highway 200 and then make an improper turn onto Highway 200. Garrard told the deputy he had just learned his license was suspended for not paying child support, and a computer check revealed 11 different suspensions dating back to 2010, according to the sheriff’s office report.

A K9 unit responded and conducted a free air sniff, and K-9 Rambo gave a positive alert. A passenger who was removed from the car told deputies that Garrard had thrown a pack of cigarettes between the two mid-passenger seats in the van when he was pulled over. Deputies found a pack that contained one cigarette and a clear bag containing a brown powdery substance that field tested positive for cocaine, according to the report.

Garrard admitted the cigarette package was his and said he regularly puts his phone and cigarettes between the seats. He confirmed there was only one cigarette inside the package but said he was unaware of any other contents, according to the report.

Garrard was charged with possession of cocaine and a first offense of knowingly driving with a suspended license. He remains in the Marion County Jail on $3,000 bond and will answer to the charges in Marion County Court on May 7.