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Teen on probation arrested with loaded firearm and drugs

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

William James Griffis III, 19, was arrested early this morning on charges of carrying a concealed firearm without a permit, possession of a weapon during the commission of a felony, possession of controlled substances with intent to sell, and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was on probation following a plea deal in a 2021 case in which he pleaded nolo contendere to charges of carrying a concealed firearm without a permit, possession of a stolen firearm, and possession of controlled substances with intent to sell.

At about 2:00 a.m. this morning, Griffis was pulled over because his vehicle did not have a working tag light. The Gainesville Police Department officer reported that he could smell marijuana coming from the vehicle and could see green leafy substances scattered around the interior of the vehicle. He said the occupants of the vehicle told him they had been smoking marijuana.

The officer asked the two occupants to get out of the vehicle, and a subsequent check of the driver’s identification found that he was on felony probation. The officer asked whether Griffis had any guns, and he reportedly replied that a family member’s handgun was under the driver’s seat; a 9mm Glock 19, with 13 rounds in the magazine and a round in the chamber, was reportedly found under the seat. The officer also asked Griffis to empty his pockets, and Griffis reportedly produced two baggies of marijuana. The officer also reported that he found a digital scale, multiple empty baggies, and a larger bag of marijuana (96 grams) in the vehicle.

Griffis’ July 2021 arrest was similar: he was pulled over for not having a working front headlight; the smell of marijuana could be detected from outside the vehicle; and a stolen gun, 140 grams of marijuana, 500 mg of THC gummies, baggies, and a scale were found in the vehicle. Griffis pleaded nolo contendere to all the charges in exchange for a 24-month probation, with adjudication withheld. The conditions of the probation include a prohibition on possessing any firearm and a requirement to abstain from all alcohol and illegal drugs.

Griffis is being held without bond on the probation violation and on $95,000 bond on the new charges.

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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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