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Pair arrested for tampering with evidence following traffic stop; man also charged with drug and gun offenses

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Zantonea Keziah Durdley, 19, and Leeandrew D’Kwon Stephens, Jr., 19, were arrested early this morning and charged with tampering with evidence following a traffic stop. Stephens was also charged with several drug and gun offenses.

A Gainesville Police Department officer pulled over a car driven by Durdley just after midnight in the 2100 block of E. University Avenue because the tag light was not working. The officer reported that Durdley gave him a valid license, but he smelled burnt cannabis while speaking with her; the officer reported that Durdley said she had just picked up Stephens and that he had recently smoked marijuana. The officer wrote that because of the smell of cannabis, he asked them to get out of the car so he could search it.

The officer reported that he asked the pair to stand by his patrol vehicle and they started to walk in that direction, but while he was leaning into the car to search it, he heard the car’s trunk close and looked up to see the pair leaning on the trunk of Durdley’s car. The officer reported that when he reached for a backpack in plain view in the car’s back seat, Stephens ran.

More officers responded and set up a perimeter, and a K-9 team also responded. Meanwhile, officers were searching the car and the backpack. They reportedly found a small bag of marijuana and a firearm magazine in the backpack and found a pair of basketball shorts concealing a handgun in the trunk.

Stephens reportedly returned on his own to the original location of the traffic stop and was detained. Post Miranda, he reportedly said the handgun was his.

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Post Miranda, Durdley reportedly said they “never shut the trunk; it remained closed the whole time.” However, after the officer spoke to Stephens, Durdley reportedly admitted that she had put the handgun in the trunk.

Durdley has been charged with tampering with evidence, a felony. She has no criminal history and was released on her own recognizance by Judge Thomas Jaworski.

Stephens has been charged with tampering with evidence, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, resisting arrest without violence, maintaining a vehicle for drug activity, and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit. He has a juvenile criminal history and has been released on $1,000 bond on the resisting arrest charge; he was released on his own recognizance on the other four charges. Judge Jaworski set the bail.

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. 

  • Why do people make stupid decisions that only complicate their lives?

    So many other productive & rewarding things they could have been doing with their lives. Now if he/she/they get caught with a gun again I’ll be referring to “convicted felons with guns again, better protect yourselves.”

  • Dems say Roe helps “family planning” and we know abortions are much more common in the Black culture. So then why do we keep seeing this lack of “progress” in 95% Dem districts?
    It’s the culture, not the nature.

  • Sounds like a BS stop…I’ve been stopped for taillights out and they were working…no mention of the citation for the taillight…

  • Apostrophes are meant to represent missing letters in a phrase; e.g.: it’s = it is.

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