Deputy Cody Forbus and K-9 Ladybird with the marijuana found during a traffic stop on Oct. 1, 2019.

A Punta Gorda woman was arrested Tuesday after cops found nine pounds of marijuana in a package in her car during a traffic stop, the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Deputy Cody Forbus conducted the stop on a white KIA after it failed to come to a complete stop exiting the post office at 130 East Marion Avenue. The driver was Brytanee Backus, 28, of the 6200 block of Alan Blvd., Punta Gorda.

Forbus informed Backus he works with the Narcotics Unit and asked if she had anything illegal in the vehicle and if she possessed a medical marijuana card. According to the arrest affidavit, Backus said she did not have a medical marijuana card and she did have a bowl in her center console she smokes marijuana with.

Forbus had his K-9 partner, Ladybird, conduct an “open air sniff” of the vehicle’s exterior, and she reacted to the presence of an illegal narcotic.

In a further search, a package was found, which Backus said she had picked up for her uncle. When Forbus cut it open, there were numerous vacuum-sealed bags containing a leafy green substance suspected to be marijuana, according to the affidavit.

Backus then told Forbus she had come to an agreement with an individual named “Havi” to retrieve the parcel and deliver it for a payment of $300, the affidavit stated. She allegedly said she communicated with Havi on a burner phone, which she had thrown in the water prior to obtaining the package.

On the front right passenger seat, cops also found a note detailing what Backus was supposed to say upon entering the post office with the tracking number for the narcotics package, according to the affidavit.

The total weight of the marijuana was 9.59 pounds, the affidavit stated.

Backus was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was released from the Charlotte County Jail Wednesday after posting a $10,000 bond.

Email: anne.easker@yoursun.com


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