An Arcadia man was arrested twice within two weeks, once in DeSoto County and once in Sarasota.

According to records from the DeSoto and Sarasota county sheriffs and Clerk of Court offices, on July 19 a deputy happened to see a motorcycle on Carlstrom Field Road, and noticed the attached license plate was not assigned to the bike. The deputy pulled the bike over.

Upon questioning the operator, Juan Daniel Martinez, 37, the deputy learned his license had been suspended and he did not have a motorcycle endorsement. 

The deputy also looked up the VIN and learned the bike, a 2019 Kawasaki, had been reported stolen. The ignition had been popped and an alternative starter had been installed.

Martinez reportedly told the deputy he bought the motorcycle for $500 and it was worth $10,000. He said the bike came with the stolen license plate attached and he had no paperwork for the bike.

He was arrested on charges of driving on a suspended license for the third or subsequent time, driving a motorcycle without the required endorsement and dealing in stolen property. He was released on $9,120 bond.

Just 11 days later, a Sarasota County sheriff's deputy saw a white car driving on Bee Ridge Road with a burned-out tag light, so he stopped the car. The driver, who turned out to me Martinez, could not produce insurance or registration. He reportedly appeared nervous and could not answer simple questions.

The deputy had Martinez get out of the car and completed computer checks, showing the tag was not assigned to any vehicle and that Martinez did not have a valid license. Martinez claimed he bought the vehicle with the tag and it had not been re-registered in his name. 

The deputy conducted an inventory of the car following Martinez's arrest, and found a green cloth bag on the floorboard by the driver's side. The arrest report indicates inside was a black Sig Sauer pistol and a baggie with a crystalline substance that later proved to be methamphetamine totaling 170 grams, along with 100 unused baggies. 

Based on finding the gun and meth, the deputy conducted a search and found marijuana cigarettes in the ashtray. In the trunk he found another firearm, four digital scales, two glass pipes and various ammunition. Martinez denied knowing anything about the drugs or firearms found in the vehicle. 

Records indicated Martinez was a convicted felon who is not permitted to possess guns.

Martinez was arrested on charges of armed trafficking in meth, two counts of possession of a firearm or ammunition by a convicted felon, trafficking meth with 14 grams or more, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, attached tag not assigned, and knowingly driving on a suspended license. Bond was set at $50,120 and he was released the next day. Arraignment is slated for Sept. 6.


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