FPD ready for weekend traffic

Published 11:55 pm Thursday, March 13, 2014

This is just part of the alcohol confiscated from spring break traffic by the Florala Police Department last weekend.

This is just part of the alcohol confiscated from spring break traffic by the Florala Police Department last weekend.

Florala police Sgt. Paul Adams is expecting a busy weekend, beginning today. He is also expecting to add to the already large collection of drugs and alcohol that FPD has confiscated during recent arrests – mostly from young people passing through town on their way to the beach.

“All of this came from two cars,” Adams said Thursday, pointing to more than six liters of liquor and nearly a dozen cases of beer. In one car alone, Police Chief Sonny Bedsole said, officers confiscated more than 100 beers, an open l.5 liter bottle of vodka, a pint of whiskey and another one-liter container of Mountain Dew mixed with vodka from three 18-year-old suspects on their way to the Gulf Coast from Kentucky.

“They were speeding and when we walked up, they just had alcohol all over the car,” Bedsole said.

Adams said this time of year, Florala becomes a busy thoroughfare of travelers heading to Florida beaches.

“We see a lot of marijuana, and a lot of minors in possession of alcohol,” he said.

While illegal substances in vehicles may not be much of shock to FPD officers, Adams said the lengths suspects go to in order to hide drugs and alcohol continues to evolve.

“There’s a myth out there that if you put the marijuana in a Mason jar, that the drug dogs can’t sniff it,” he said. “That’s just not true.”

Adams said there are few places suspects can successfully hide drugs from FPD’s canine unit, Bella, but added many still try to conceal narcotics.

“We had a guy last Saturday put his pot in a Mason jar and take out his glove compartment and put it where the airbag should have been,” Adams said. “We saw three or four Mason jars just last weekend. We had another person take the soles out of the shoes and had seven bags of Molly (a drug akin to Ecstasy) flattened out in there, and then he put the sole back on.”

Adams said officers have also come across “the occasional pill,” but are mostly working to stop the flow of marijuana and underage drinking from making it into Florida. And he is confident that no matter what strategies suspects employ, FPD officers will continue to make arrests until the problem is solved.

“We plan to be very busy this weekend,” he said.