Law enforcement authorities in Flagler County and its cities made all of one arrest for a curfew violation, and even then, only because the woman was also in violation of drug laws.
The arrest took place at 4:30 Friday morning, several hours after Hurricane Ian’s offshore passage but inside the 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. countywide curfew. A sheriff’s deputy spotted a green Toyota pickup driving on Royal Palms Parkway. The car was pulled over at Rickenbacker.
The 33-year-old man was issued a warning. The 28-year-old woman, a resident of Palm Coast’s P-Section, might have only had a warning: a curfew violation is a second-degree misdemeanor, the lowest criminal infraction above a traffic ticket. It’s up to officer discretion whether to charge a misdemeanor or not. In many cases, officers do not. For hurricane emergencies, law enforcement’s default approach has been primarily to educate and warn curfew violators rather than write them up for charges, exceptions being when the violators are possibly involved in additional crimes.
But Reed, a passenger in the vehicle, could not locate her identification, and when she stepped out of the car, the Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy noticed “an uncapped needle on the floor between her chair and the door.” The woman had told the deputy she was in narcotics anonymous and had initially told him she did not have any narcotics. Additional deputies arrived, including a drug-sniffing dog, which signaled the likely presence of narcotics and gave deputies probable cause to search the car.
Deputies found a glass bubble pipe in a fanny pack that had been by the woman in the car. The pipe tested positive for meth. The woman said the bag and the pipe were hers, according to the arrest report. She told the deputy she usually knows better than to drive with narcotics in her possession.
Even at that point she denied having additional narcotics. Since she was about to be arrested, deputies would conduct a routine search of her person. There was a cigarette box in the front pocket of her hoodie. (Deputies had allowed her to smoke through the interactions.) Deputies found folded-up tinfoil inside the box, and a 0.1 gram brownish substance inside it, and another 0.3 grams outside it. Both tested positive for fentanyl.
The woman was charged with fentanyl possession, a third-degree felony, plus possession of drug paraphernalia and the curfew violation, both misdemeanors, and booked at the Flagler County jail on $3,500 bond. She remained at the county jail early this afternoon. She does not have a prior arrest in the county.