ORANGE PARK – A U.S. Customs agent searching a boat on the St. Johns River found illegal drugs that led to the arrest of two Orange Park men, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office said.
The agent, who is part of the federal agency’s Marine Interdiction Patrol, said he was patrolling in the Doctors Lake area when he approached a Crownline boat with four men aboard. One of the men appeared to stuff something alone one of the seats and refused the agent’s commands to keep his hands visible during what was originally intended to be a safety inspection and boat registration check, according to a Sheriff’s Office arrest report.
A search turned up two marijuana buds under the man’s seat. Also found was a small bag with a container that had one pill and several broken pills, all later identified as Xanax, the report says.
Leonard Abbott Velez III, 26, is charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis, the arrest report says. Velez was turned over to a sheriff’s deputy when taken to shore and refused to answer questions, the report says.
The boat operator, Joseph Rodriguez, 26, also faces a charge of possession of marijuana under 20 grams after the agent discovered a bag containing marijuana in the boat’s glove compartment, the arrest report says.