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Sarasota Man Facing Charges Of Trafficking In Bath Salts

640px-Crystal_Meth.jpgA Sarasota man was arrested last week after local police say he was in possession of a variety of illegal drugs including a substance popularly known as bath salts.

Sarasota County authorities say law enforcement attempted to initiate a stop of Michael Joshua Peterson on July 17 for riding his bicycle in the wrong direction on the street, but he allegedly dismounted the bicycle he was riding, dropped his backpack, and fled.

Police engaged in a brief foot pursuit, ultimately employing a taser to gain compliance and effect a custodial arrest. They returned to the scene where the pursuit began and recovered his backpack, which they say contained nearly 5 grams of crack cocaine, almost 40 grams of a mixture of methamphetamine and cocaine, and a digital scale.

Peterson was subsequently charged with possession of cocaine with intent to sell within 1,000' of a church, resisting an officer without violence, and possession of narcotic equipment. He posted a bond of $21,000 the same day and was released.

In the meantime, the mix of drugs allegedly discovered in his backpack was sent off for testing. On August 8 Sarasota authorities received results of the test, identifying the unknown substance as N-ethylpentylone - SCH I cathinone, which is a common form of the hallucinogen known as bath salts.

A new warrant was drawn up, and Peterson was apprehended exactly one month after his initial arrest. He now faces an additional charge of trafficking in amphetamine. Peterson was freed the next day after posting an additional bond of $20,000.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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