ARCADIA — The DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of three Arcadia residents on Wednesday in connection with a vehicle theft in Hardee County.

The arrest led to all three suspects being charged with drug-related offenses after a K-9 team detected narcotics.

In a post on its Facebook page, DCSO stated that deputies responded to a report of a load trailer being stolen out of Hardee County around 2 a.m. Wednesday.

“The suspects probably thought it would be an easy score, but the GPS on the trailer had other ideas,” the post stated.

The vehicle and the three suspects were stopped on Gene’s Little Acres Avenue, where the K-9 conducted a free-air sniff of the truck.

The search allegedly led to the discovery of “drug paraphernalia and several stashes of methamphetamine” in containers like plastic bags and — in one case — mixed into a soda container.

DCSO alleges that the drugs found the soda were the result of the suspects attempting to hide evidence.

The three suspects arrested at the scene are:

• Marie Williams, 35, charged with smuggling manufactured methamphetamines 400 grams or more, dealing in stolen property, possession of drug paraphernalia (Methamphetamine), and driving while license suspended.

• Michael Villegas, 38, charged with smuggling manufactured methamphetamines 400 grams or more, dealing in stolen property, possession of a controlled Substance without a prescription (Methamphetamine), tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, possession of drug paraphernalia (Methamphetamine), possession of drug paraphernalia (Marijuana), and possession of marijuana less than 20 grams.

• Gregory Tijerina, 39, charged with dealing in stolen property and possession of drug paraphernalia (Methamphetamine).

All three are currently being held at DeSoto County Jail on bond: $8,000 bond for Tijerina, $58,120 bond for Williams, and $62,000 bond for Villegas.

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