4 arrested after drugs, gun found in car

By News4Jax.com Staff, webteam@wjxt.com
Published On: Feb 10 2014 11:08:47 AM EST
Updated On: Feb 10 2014 12:57:51 PM EST

Nassau County Sheriff's Office booking photos of Elbert Thornton, Kalvarez Bessent and Artez Ward

YULEE, Fla. -

A man and three teens -- one a Camden County (Ga.) High School football standout -- were arrested on drug charges Friday night in Nassau County after being stopped for speeding, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said they stopped a 2007 Dodge Charger driven by 21-year-old Elbert Thornton, of Jacksonville, about 10 p.m. Friday. They said the car was going 58 mph in a 45 mph zone on U.S. Highway 1 in Callahan.

The deputy who made the traffic stop said he smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the car and asked all four occupants to get out of the car.

Deputies said they seized 202.5 grams of marijuana from underneath the driver's seat and right front passenger seat in four separate bags. Also under the passenger seat was a small .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun wrapped in a T-shirt.

According to Nassau County, 19-year-old Kalvaraz Bessent, of St. Marys, was riding In that front passenger seat. 

Last Wednesday, Bessent signed a letter of intent with Auburn (pictured on National Signing Day).

Two teens were sitting in the rear seats: 19-year-old Artez Ward, of Jacksonville, and a 16-year-old from St. Marys, Ga.

Deputies said neither the driver nor any of the passengers took ownership in the drugs or handgun, so a four were arrested on charges of possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute (from the way the marijuana was packaged), and possession of drug paraphernalia (set of scales). They were booked into the Nassau County Detention Facility.

The handgun will be sent to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement lab for fingerprint and DNA testing to determine ownership, deputies said.

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