By Debby Schamber
The Orange Leader
A Florida man and an illegal immigrant were arrested during the wee hours Monday morning after Orange Police officers discovered marijuana stashed in a spare tire.
Shortly after midnight Monday, an Orange Police officer was patrolling near mile marker 876 on Interstate 10. He wrote in an offense report that he noticed a 2003 Dodge pickup truck in front of him without license plates.
The officer said he conducted a traffic stop and met with the driver and two other passengers. Due to conflicting stories, the officer said he asked and received consent to search the vehicle.
While searching near the spare tire of the vehicle, the officer reportedly noticed finger and hand prints all over the rim. The officer removed the tire and noted in he report that the tire felt extremely heavy. The officer released air from the valve stem of the spare tire and said he could smell a strong odor of raw marijuana, according to reports.
The driver of the vehicle then reportedly stated the spare tire contained marijuana.
The driver, Javier Martinez, 34, of Umatilla, Fl., was arrested for the third degree felony of possession of marijuana.
It was later determined one the passengers was illegally in the US. He was detained and Immigration officials were contacted.
The remaining passenger was taken to the bus station and released.
Molotov cocktail causes bedroom fire
An 18-year-old man was inside an Orange residence about 4 a.m. Sunday in the 1300 block of Hawthorne Street when he said he heard glass breaking and dogs barking.
The man reported to police he then went to his mother’s bedroom on the northeast side of the residence, where he discovered a burning bottle, also known as a “molotov cocktail.” The bedroom received the most fire damage, but heat and smoke damage were reported in other areas of the residence.
According to reports from the Orange Police Department, the man reported the fire quickly began to spread in the room. When the officer walked to the rear of the residence where the fire had occurred, he noticed the window screen unburned lying on the ground. However, the window glass was broken and covered in soot from the fire.
Another officer noted a small burned area in the grass outside of the residence. The officer informed the reporting officer, that when he arrived the spot on the ground was burning as if a burning substance had fallen to the ground on that spot.
The officer toured the inside of the residence with members of the Orange Fire Department. The fire marshal directed the attention of the officer to a beer bottle which was on the floor where the fire had occurred. The bottle appeared to have a cloth wick protruding from the top, according to reports.
By Debby Schamber
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