Cape Coral Police arrested a couple on charges of trafficking heroin and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, following a traffic stop for a seatbelt violation on Saturday evening.
Matthew T. Simmons, 26, 1080 Hancock Creek Blvd., was charged with trafficking heroin and possession of firearm by convicted felon, and Chrissie Simmons, 24, also of 1080 Hancock Creek Blvd., was charged with trafficking heroin after a K-9 reportedly "alerted" to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle, officials said.
The investigation began after Officer Carson observed a green Honda 2-door driving southbound on Del Prado Boulevard around 7:30 p.m. and saw that the front passenger was not wearing his seatbelt. Carson conducted a traffic stop shortly after the vehicle turned off of Del Prado, onto Coronado Parkway.
Cape Coral Police Department K9 Officer McCreary and his partner "Nate" responded to the stop.
"An open-air sniff of the car resulted in K9 Nate alerting to the presence of narcotics," Cape Coral police said in a statement issued Monday. "The occupants of the car were removed from the car and detained. They were read their rights and a narcotics investigation was started."
According to police, the driver, Chrissie Simmons, objected to the search of her car, saying that "the dog always alerts on their vehicle and the police never find anything."
During the search police say they found a small backpack behind the front seats. Inside was a loaded Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun, a tube sock containing another loaded magazine for the gun, and a tube sock containing 9mm ammunition (90 rounds total), along with men's clothing and paperwork belonging to Matthew Simmons, the front-seat passenger.
"The investigation revealed that Simmons is a convicted felon," the release states. "Simmons denied that the weapon was his, claiming that it belonged to his wife, though his fingerprints would be on it because he shoots it at the gun range."
Officers also found numerous clear plastic baggies containing a whitish powder, which tested positive for heroin, concealed within the trunk and a box containing bundles of cash in small denominations, totaling $4.246, officials said.
K9 Nate also reportedly alerted to the presence of narcotics on the cash.
Police say the Simmons both told police that neither had been employed for more than three months and that the cash was from their tax return.
"The bundling, the proximity to the firearm, and the location of heroin nearby gave officers probable cause to believe the money was the ill-gotten gains of narcotics sales and it was also seized as evidence," officials said.
Source: Cape Coral Police Department