LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Former Lee County Commissioner Brian Bigelow is out of jail on $12,000 bond after police arrested him overnight on drug charges. A judge has ordered him to remain drug- and alcohol-free while he awaits trial and to undergo weekly drug tests.
Bigelow is accused of possessing cocaine, possessing drug equipment, and loitering.
According to Fort Myers Police, Bigelow was spotted in the parking lot of Brookside Village Apartments, off Marsh Avenue, early Friday morning. Officers said he was standing outside his rental car in the complex, which is reportedly known for drug activity. Officers also noticed a passenger in the car, later identified as 22-year-old Markis Avila.
Upon seeing police, Bigelow got into his vehicle and tried to leave the parking lot, according to the report. Officers stopped and questioned him and noticed "suspicious" behavior, including sweating and stuttering.
A police K-9 was brought out to sniff the vehicle. Officers said the search yielded a bag of cocaine from under Avila's seat. They found baggies of cocaine in Bigelow's pocket and a "cut green straw" with a powdery white residue inside.
Bigelow and Avila were both arrested and booked into the Lee County jail.
Last November, Bigelow was caught up in another drug-related arrest. At that time, officers spotted him in a rental car with a teenager, parked outside a known drug house.
Officers pulled the vehicle over for a traffic violation and drugs were discovered in the car. The teen was arrested for drug possession. Bigelow was issued a citation for allowing an unlicensed person to drive his car. Bigelow said law enforcement mis-characterized what happened.