Officers called to investigate a panhandler obstructing traffic discover that the homeless man they came to investigate is allegedly a wanted felon in possession of a firearm and cannabis.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the corner of Gornto Lake Road and Causeway Boulevard on Tuesday by passing motorists reporting a panhandler blocking traffic. After setting up patrols in the area, they say they happened upon a man with a sign that described him as homeless and needing help around 4 o’clock. Deputies went on to say that a background check of the man, forty-one-year-old James Edward Williams Jr., showed that he had outstanding warrants for violating probation, as well as several drug-related offenses.
Williams was brought to Hillsborough County Jail upon his arrest, where deputies say they found a Cobra Model CA32 single-action pistol, several rounds of .32 Auto, and an amount of cannabis packed in a manner they say indicates an intent to distribute it. They further allege that the black-market value of the cannabis they discovered to be in the neighborhood of $1,000. Deputies also allege that they discovered credit and identification cards that did not belong to him.
Williams, who did not report a home address, employer, nor occupation, is being held without bond in jail on counts of possession of cannabis, possession of a controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a convenience store, possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of felon in possession of a firearm (one for the firearm itself, and the other for the ammunition), and two counts of violation of probation, both for possession of a controlled substance.