Man arrested for cocaine possession less than two months after release from jail


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Bennie Lee Walker, Jr., 51, was arrested early this morning and charged with cocaine possession. He was released from the Alachua County Jail on January 29, 2023, after serving two concurrent 180-day sentences for cocaine possession and violation of probation.

A Gainesville Police Department officer made consensual contact with Walker just after midnight last night at 1700 W. University Avenue. The officer asked Walker if he could see his identification, and Walker gave him his Florida State ID. The officer noted that Walker had a history of being arrested for cocaine possession and asked Walker if he had any cocaine on his person. Walker reportedly said he did not, so the officer asked if he could search him; Walker reportedly declined. The officer then asked Walker if he would take everything out of his pockets, and Walker reportedly agreed to do that.

As Walker was opening his wallet, the officer reportedly noticed an empty baggie with white residue. A search incident to arrest reportedly produced 2.42 grams of cocaine.

Post Miranda, Walker reportedly said the substance was cocaine for his personal use.

Walker has five felony convictions (none violent) and six misdemeanor convictions (none violent). In June 2022, Walker was arrested for simple battery and cocaine possession; he entered a plea of nolo contendere to the drug possession charge and was sentenced to time served (28 days) plus 18 months of drug offender probation. He was arrested again in October 2022 and charged with selling cocaine and possession of drug paraphernalia; he entered into a plea agreement on charges of violating probation and possession of cocaine with intent to sell and was sentenced to concurrent sentences of 180 days in jail with credit for 73 days served. He was released on January 29.

Judge Thomas Jaworski set bail at $5,000 on the cocaine possession charge.

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. 

  • Should have gotten hooked on phonics instead of hooked on coke.

  • This seems weak with the probable cause to justify the shake down. I am on board with keeping felons off the streets but to arrest then lose the charges is a problem. There must be more to this case.

    • If he was obviously a vagrant, the cops would have left him alone. Why were they hassling him and asking for his ID? That’s not normal if he was just minding his own business. And he declined permission to search, which most people hopefully would do, so there is nothing inherently abnormal or suspicious about that.

    • People with felonies are 8% of the population. You want them all off the streets?

  • If he wants help with his addiction I hope he gets it, otherwise society must be protected.

    • Society is harmed whenever tax money is wasted. I’m not sure this prosecution is really worth the money.

  • >