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Bomb squad called for I-75 traffic stop

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Randy Edward Baggett, Jr., 41, and Jasen Riley Brannon, 45, both of Tampa, were arrested this morning after Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) pulled over their car on I-75.

Multiple 911 calls were received about a white car that was unable to stay in its lane and almost collided with other vehicles. The car was pulled over at the northbound 382 mile marker at about 8 a.m.

The FHP trooper reported that Brannon, the driver, appeared to be impaired, and he performed poorly on field sobriety exercises. During an inventory search of the car, the trooper reportedly found a safe, and Brannon provided the password to open it. The safe reportedly contained prescribed medications (hydromorphone hydrochloride) belonging to Brannon and packaged for resale, along with empty baggies and $7400 cash. Brannon was charged with DUI, possession of an opium derivative with intent to sell, and possession of drug equipment.

Baggett was in the passenger seat of the car when it was stopped, and a travel case was reportedly found in the passenger side cup holder. The case reportedly contained a syringe with clear liquid and baggies with a powdery substance, which was presumptively identified as methamphetamine.

A backpack was found in the trunk, and Baggett reportedly said it was his; the trooper reported that the backpack contained 2 “oval objects” with fuses. An Alachua County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Squad Technician responded and found that the objects included smokeless powder, the contents of shotgun shell, and a hobby fuse. Baggett reportedly said that he used the items to explode under water for fishing purposes.

Baggett was arrested on charges of possession of drugs, possession of drug equipment, and making an explosive device. Bail has not yet been set for either defendant.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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