Hernando Traffic Stop Leads to Seizure of Guns, Illegal Drugs, Cash
One of the car’s passengers was also arrested on an active warrant, Hernando deputies say.
SPRING HILL – Deputies arrested two men and seized five guns, illegal drugs and cash during a traffic stop Monday (July 20) night, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said.
Dave Eric Hensley, 50, was charged with one count each of Trafficking in Methamphetamine, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell, Carrying a Concealed Firearm, Possession of Short Barrel Shotgun, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
One of the passengers, Vincente M. Gaona, 53, was found to have an active (Hernando County) warrant for his arrest for Violation of Probation. Gaona was arrested and charged accordingly.
Just after 10:30 p.m. Monday, deputies conducted a traffic stop on the driver of a gold Honda Civic near the intersection of Elgin Boulevard and Barclay Avenue in Spring Hill. A query of the tag, just before the stop, indicated the registered owner had a suspended driver’s license.
Hensley, the driver who was also the car’s owner, gave his license to the deputy and said he did not know about the suspension.
Hensley told deputies he had a firearm in his pocket and that he did have a concealed weapons permit. Deputies requested Hensley to get out of the car, which he did.
Deputies requested permission to remove the firearm from Hensley’s pocket for the duration of the traffic stop. deputies said Hensley granted permission. The firearm, a Ruger .380, was removed from Hensley’s pocket and placed inside a patrol car. Hensley produced a concealed weapons permit from the state of Virginia.
Deputies said they saw another firearm, in plain view, inside the pocket of the driver’s door. Deputies asked Hensley if there were any additional firearms in the car, to which he replied yes, under the clutter in the back seat. Hensley told deputies they were not permitted to retrieve the firearm from the back seat, he would get it out if they needed him to.
Deputy Jason Jernigan and K-9 Maxx were called to the scene. Upon arrival, K-9 Maxx conducted a drug sniff on the vehicle and alerted to the presence of illegal narcotics.
Deputies then conducted a search of the vehicle. The search revealed
A camouflage zippered bag (directly behind the driver’s seat) containing a gun and three clear plastic bags containing a crystal-like substance, one clear plastic bag containing a large amount of green pills, numerous empty plastic bags, a sawed off shotgun w/a pistol rip (15 inch barrel)
A black bag (trunk) containing numerous digital scales and one clear plastic bag containing a crystal-like substance
A black zippered bag (trunk) containing $11,966 in U.S. currency.
Deputies said they identified the green pills as Alprazolam, a controlled substance. There were a total of 137 Alprazolam pills in the bag.
The crystal-like substances from each of the bags tested positive for the presence of methamphetamine, deputies said. The total combined weight of the crystal-like substance was 60 grams.
In total, five firearms were recovered from the car, one of which was concealed in Hensley’s pocket.
Hensley refused to talk with deputies about the items that were found inside his car.
The two passengers told deputies they had no knowledge of any of the items that were found in the car.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis said, “This certainly shows that my deputies are dedicated to getting illegal drugs and illegal weapons off the streets. This type of good police work is one of the many reasons crime has been going down in the state of Florida and in Hernando County, over the last several years.”
MAIN PHOTO SHOWS DAVE ERIC HENSLEY, LEFT, AND VINCENTE M. GAONA. IN-STORY PHOTO SHOWS ITEMS SEIZED IN TRAFFIC STOP. COURTESY OF THE HERNANDO COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE.
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