Traffic Stop Leads Canine Unit to Seizure of $12,000 and Illegal Drugs

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) yesterday arrested Horacia Moronta, 38, of Lake Mary, Fla., on marijuana drug charges.

The investigation began after Deputy Steve Key and Ella, a certified narcotics detection canine, of the WCSO Canine Unit conducted a traffic stop on Moronta’s vehicle for a window tint violation near mile maker 88 on Interstate 10.

“We are very proud of the fine work being done by our K-9 deputies and their detection dogs,” said Sheriff Michael A. Adkinson, Jr. “Our teams are very dedicated and continue to apprehend violators who attempt to bring dangerous drugs into Walton County.”

A probable cause search of Moronta’s vehicle was conducted after Ella alerted the deputy of the possible presence of illegal narcotics in the trunk of the vehicle. During the search, the canine unit seized more than 10 ounces of marijuana, a loaded firearm and more than $12,000 in cash.

Moronta was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, a third-degree felony. He was booked into the Walton County Jail.

The WCSO Canine Unit consists of four teams who assist in the apprehension of suspects and the seizure of narcotics. In 2010, the unit apprehended seven suspects and seized more than eight pounds of marijuana, 45 pounds of cocaine, two ounces of methamphetamine and $40,000 in cash.

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