SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Deputies arrested a 33-year-old Bradenton man for allegedly drug trafficking after he sold cocaine to undercover detectives on three different occasions.
Deputies say they received information about a black male named “Grip” who was selling cocaine in the area of 17th Street and North Euclid Avenue in Sarasota.
After checking databases, deputies say that “Grip” was identified as Chadwick Stephens.
Reports say that on November 20, 2019, an undercover detective contacted Stephens from a cell phone number to make a purchase for an amount of cocaine. According to law enforcement, Stephens said to meet at the Dollar General on 17th Street and North Euclid Avenue where he drove up in a white Ford Mustang that had a Florida tag.
Deputies say that Stephens sold the amount of cocaine in this transaction for $150 and said to the undercover detective that he could provide a larger amount and that he would sell an ounce of cocaine for $900.
According to deputies, the undercover detective indicated that he was interested and that he would contact Stephens to set up that purchase.
This incident was audio and video recorded and once back at the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) the drug was packaged and placed as evidence in the investigation. This amount of cocaine weighed in at 3.26 grams.
On November 26, 2019, the same undercover detective contacted Stephens from the same cell phone number to set up the next purchase. Deputies say that Stephens agreed and said to meet at the same Dollar General again. This time, deputies say that Stephens told the undercover detective to follow him in his vehicle to a residence in the 2500th block of 23rd Street where the transaction for the amount of cocaine was made in exchange for $900.
The undercover detective brought this amount of cocaine back to SCSO where it was tested, came back as positive and placed as evidence in the investigation. This amount of cocaine weighed in at 27.74 grams. This incident was also audio and video recorded.
Deputies say that on December 5, 2019 the undercover detective contacted Stephens for the third and final time from the same cell phone number to make a purchase for another unspecified amount of cocaine.
Reports say that Stephens agreed and instructed him to meet him the same Dollar General and once he arrived, deputies say that Stephens entered the undercover detective’s vehicle and told him to drive to the residence where the previous transaction between the two was made.
Reports say that when they arrived Stephens got out of the vehicle, but when he re-entered he instructed the undercover detective to the area of 22nd Street where a transaction for an unspecified amount of cocaine was made in exchange for $1800.
Once back at SCSO, deputies say that the unspecified amount of the drug was tested, came back as positive, packaged and placed as evidence. This amount of cocaine weighed in at 55.56 grams. This incident was also audio and video recorded.
An arrest warrant was issued for Stephens on January 24th and he was arrested on Thursday. He remains in custody and has been charged with two felonies for the sale of cocaine and one additional felony of trafficking in cocaine.
Stephens has previously been arrested for possession of heroin with intent to sell, possession of cocaine, and possession of marijuana more than 20 grams.