St. Lucie County traffic court defendant drives away from courthouse and gets five new charges, according to Sheriff Mascara
Brian Lavince Mathis of Broward County topped off a St. Lucie County traffic court appearance this afternoon by ignoring a judge's warning not to drive on his suspended license and wound up with five new charges, according to Sheriff Ken J. Mascara.
Mathis, 26, was awaiting booking at the St. Lucie County jail Tuesday night on charges with a total bond of $50,000: possession of cocaine with intent to sell, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and habitually driving with a suspended license.
"Mr. Mathis was in County Court Judge Clifford Barnes' courtroom in downtown Fort Pierce where his case for driving last August with a suspended license was continued this afternoon," Sheriff Mascara said. "The judge warned defendants with suspended licenses not to drive, but Mr. Mathis apparently ignored that warning."
Court Security Deputies Brad Morales and Robert Doty noticed that Mathis had a lanyard around his neck with car keys dangling from it. They followed him outside, where he got into a black 2000 Honda sedan and started to drive away. The two deputies stopped Mathis near Boston Avenue and Second Street.
Inside the car, they saw a bag of marijuana, and Mathis told them he didn't think it was his because he thought he'd smoked the marijuana he had before going to his court appearance.
In the back seat of his car, deputies found one-half pound of marijuana, 2.7 grams of powdered cocaine, some pills, a scale and more than $500 cash.
Deputies took him to the St. Lucie County jail where he was booked on the new charges. Unless he posts bond overnight, he faces a county court bond hearing in the morning.
"When a judge gives a warning in his courtroom, it's a good idea to do what he says," Sheriff Mascara said. "Mr. Mathis learned this lesson today the hard way."
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