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Sunday, December 10, 2023

Crash leads to arrest of bicyclist on drug trafficking, firearm charges

A 30-year-old convicted felon from Ocala was arrested last week following a traffic accident after a loaded firearm and several drugs were allegedly found in his possession.

On Wednesday, November 1, Ocala Police Department officers responded to the 1900 block of SW Fort King Street in reference to a crash involving a motor vehicle and bicycle. Prior to the arrival of officers, OPD was informed that one of the individuals involved in the accident, identified as John Leon Brinson, was in possession of a firearm, according to the arrest report.

John Leon Brinson
John Leon Brinson (Marion County Jail booking photo dated June 12, 2023)

Officers soon arrived on scene and made contact with the bicyclist, Brinson, who was in possession of a brown Sig P365 firearm that was loaded with a dozen rounds of ammunition, and one round was in the chamber. The report stated that Brinson was transported to HCA Florida Ocala Hospital for a medical evaluation.

A female witness told officers that she observed a truck traveling westbound on SW Fort King Street, and the truck collided with Brinson’s bicycle as he was riding eastbound on the same road, according to the report.

After the collision occurred, the witness advised that she saw Brinson “reach for the firearm,” and she stated that she “pleaded with him to not react” since there were children nearby. According to the statement from the witness, Brinson then “hid the firearm underneath red or black clothing” until law enforcement arrived on scene.

While officers were processing the scene of the accident, a black jacket was located where Brinson was initially struck. Inside the jacket, a detective located clear plastic baggies that contained “various substances consistent with illegal narcotics.” The report stated that the following narcotics were collected from the jacket:

  • 40 grams of cocaine.
  • 2 grams of methamphetamine.
  • 11 grams of synthetic marijuana.

A criminal history search of Brinson revealed that he has several prior felony convictions in the state of Florida, including possession and sale of cocaine (June 2012), possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (July 2012), and felony fleeing and eluding (May 2017), according to the report.

Brinson was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held without bond. He is facing felony charges for armed trafficking of cocaine (28 grams or more, but less than 150 kg), possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of synthetic cannabinoid.

Court records show that on Wednesday, November 8, Brinson entered a plea of not guilty. A public defender has been appointed, and Brinson is scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, December 12.