PUNTA GORDA, Fla.- A Charlotte County Sheriff's road patrol deputy arrested a Port Charlotte man after a traffic stop and observed him swallowing Crack Cocaine. Willen Arie Perniak, 60, of 4200 Lister Street, was arrested.
Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., the deputy observed a green Ford Explorer parked in the swale in front of a known drug house on Scott Street in Punta Gorda. A man came out of the home and then drove off. A check of the license tag found the tag expired in September and a traffic stop was made at S.R. 17 and Florida Street. As the deputy approached the driver Perniak, he noticed him moving his tongue like he was pushing something up in his cheek and would not open his mouth much to talk.
The deputy asked Perniak where he was coming from and he stated the mini-mart on Cooper Street. When Perniak was told he was observed at the known drug house and driving away before the traffic stop. Pernaik consented to a search of his vehicle and his person. The deputy located a bundle of Brilloin his jacket pocket that is used to smoke Crack Cocaine. Perniak was again attempting to hide something in his mouth and the deputy asked him to open his mouth and he complied. The deputy could see a clear cellophane wrapper with between his right cheek and upper right jaw.
Perniak was ordered to spit out the wrapper and he complied; the deputy asked if it was Crack Cocaine he swallowed and he said, “Yes, it was only a ten piece” in reference to $10 worth of Crack Cocaine. A search of the SUV located a crack pipe.
EMS was called to evaluate Perniak and transported him to Charlotte Regional Medical Center where blood and urine samples were taken. The Emergency Room doctor said the urine analysis was positive for Crack Cocaine. Perniak was released at 11:30 p.m., charged with Possession of Crack Cocaine, Tampering with Evidence, and Obstruction of Justice, and then taken to the Charlotte County Jail. Perniak remains in jail on $6,000 bond.
Anyone with knowledge of illegal drug activity is asked to please call the CCSO Narcotics Unit at 941-575-2157, or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).