Drugs and Loaded Gun Found in Backpack of Man with Prior 18 Convictions

Willie Eugene Caruthers
Police in Leesburg found drugs and a loaded handgun in a backpack of a 46-year-old Leesburg man with 18 prior felony convictions and an outstanding warrant.
He has also had his bond revoked for prior charges of possession of cocaine and possession of a firearm by a felon, including charges of possessing cocaine with intent to sell.
At around 6:21 p.m. Sunday, an officer was traveling east on McNamee Street when he observed Caruthers sitting on a vehicle on the south side of the street.
The officer recognized Caruthers from previous interactions and informed the police communications center, which reported that Caruthers had an outstanding warrant from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, according to the police report.

The officer stopped and placed Caruthers under arrest without incident. Meanwhile, another officer saw a blue backpack next to where Caruthers had been sitting. When the bag was picked up, a firearm and several baggies containing a white substance were visible. Officers noted that nobody else was near Caruthers or the vehicle the entire time he was observed, the report said.

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Inside the Leesburg Police Department, officers searched the bag and found a scale, a clear bag containing multiple zip-lock bags of drugs, one spoon, a pack of unused zip-lock baggies, and a Taurus Judge firearm loaded with five rounds. The clear bag contained four smaller bags filled with a white rock-like substance that tested positive for cocaine.

The total weight of the cocaine was 13.5 grams, according to the report. Caruthers was booked at the police station and lodged in the Lake County Jail, where he was released Monday on a  $16,000 bond. Caruthers is set to appear in Lake County Court on May 31.

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