Florida Men Deny Pot Possession Charges
Two Florida men accused of transporting over 100 lbs. of marijuana in order to sell it denied the charges brought against them Wednesday in Albany County District Court.
Both 27-year-old Dane Joseph Gerkins and 34-year-old Brandon Christopher Bamond face two felony charges: possession of a controlled substance and possession with intent to deliver. They each pleaded not guilty to both charges.
If convicted, each man could spend up to 15 years in prison and pay $20,000 in fines. Bamond is set to stand trial Aug. 15-16, while Gerkins could face a jury Nov. 22-23. Both men are free on bond.
Court documents say a Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper stopped a Chevrolet Tahoe for speeding in Albany County.
Gerkins was reportedly under a sleeping bag and did not move until the trooper asked Bamond for the vehicle registration. According to the affidavit, the trooper noticed both front windows rolled down and a strong odor of air freshener. The trooper suspected criminal activity when Gerkins and Bamond allegedly told conflicting stories and were unable to produce the vehicle registration.
According to court documents, Bamond told the trooper there were no drugs in the vehicle. But when the trooper led his K-9 to the vehicle, the dog alerted at the driver's side door.
A search of the vehicle revealed 62 packages of suspected marijuana weighing 102 lbs. as well as "Two (2) packages of marijuana wax weighing approximately two point two (2.2) pounds, were discovered inside three (3) suitcases in the cargo area [sic]..." The search also turned up $3,603 in cash, according to the affidavit.
In court Wednesday, Judge Jeffrey Donnell amended the bond conditions for Gerkins to allow him to travel to another state for one week to clean out his old apartment.