Two young Ocala men were arrested on drug charges during a traffic stop in Belleview last week.
Logan Alexander Matthew Behling, 18, of 6065 SE 46th Ave. Road, was charged with two counts of possession of Tetrahydrocannabinol oil, while Connor James Leeward, 20, of 2010 SE 25th Street, was charged with possession of 163.5 grams of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of Tetrahydrocannabinol wax.
Behling was behind the wheel of a white vehicle stopped by a Belleview Police officer at around 10:49 p.m. Feb. 4 for ignoring a right-turn only sign and turning left out of the Wawa AT 5726 SE Abshier Blvd. Upon approaching the vehicle, the officer immediately smelled the distinct odor of marijuana coming from the open driver’s window, according to the police report.
Behling’s hands were shaking as he handed the officer his license and registration. The officer asked if he had smoked marijuana in the vehicle recently and he said it had been a couple days. Behling didn’t answer when the officer asked if there was any marijuana in the vehicle right now. When the officer told Behling it would be easier if he was honest, he admitted there was marijuana in a bag on the floorboard of the back seat, the report said.
With Behling and his passenger, Leeward, out of the vehicle, the officer conducted a search and found a small black backpack on the floorboard behind the driver’s seat. The package contained three packaged 1-milliliter cartridges of “Khora” tetrahydrocannabinol oil and one 1-milliliter cartridge of “Rove” tetrahydrocannabinol oil. The Khora cartridge was labeled 78 percent THC, while the Khora cartridges were labeled 96, 96, and 93.11 percent THC, respectively, according to the report.
The officer also found a metal baseball bat on the rear floorboard, along with a medium-sized lunch bag containing five individual plastic sandwich bags containing marijuana and two small circular silicone containers each containing a yellow waxy substance. The officer also found a digital scale in the passenger door pocket which had loose marijuana on it, the report said.
Behling told the officer none of the marijuana was his. He said he picked up Leeward from his house and he brought the black backpack with him. Behling said he didn’t know anything about the brown lunch bag and Leeward must have brought it with him, too, according to the report.
Behling said he had just vacuumed the vehicle and didn’t see the brown lunch bag. He said he smelled marijuana when he picked up Leeward, so he knew he had it with him. Behling said Leeward must have put the backpack in the back because he thought it was on the passenger floorboard when he pulled over. He said he didn’t see Leeward move the bag, the report said.
Leeward said he didn’t know anything about the marijuana that was found and it wasn’t his. He also said he didn’t know anything about the brown lunch bag, the black backpack or the scale. Leeward said he wasn’t selling anything and was adamant the marijuana wasn’t his. His wallet contained $343 in cash, according to the report.
The tetrahydrocannabinol oil, the yellow waxy substance and the green leafy substance all tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol. There was not enough marijuana on the scale to perform a test. The total weight of the marijuana was 163.5 grams, the report said.
Behling and Leeward were placed under arrest and taken to the Marion County Jail. While processing evidence, the officer observed an outside pocket on the lunch bag that contained four small baggies containing folded wax paper. Within each piece of wax paper was a moderate amount of a yellow waxy substance that tested positive for tetrahydrocannabinol, according to the report.
Leeward was released Feb. 5 on $12,000 bond, while Behling was released Feb. 5 on $2,000.