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Bicycle patrol pays off in drug arrest

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By Ada Lang

When the City of Cedar Key Police Department started training their officers on the police bike protocol, nobody guessed that their most recent drug arrest would come courtesy of the bicycles and no seat belts.

On April 13, two Cedar Key Police Officers — Perry and Cosseboom — were with Levy County Sheriff's Detective Roger Bell getting familiar with the new police bikes early in the evening. They were in the Jernigan Avenue area and noticed a car approaching with two men in the front seat who were not wearing seat belts.

The bicycles have flashing blue lights, so the officers turned on their lights and flagged the car over to the side of the road. The officers noticed a bottle of vodka on the seat between the men, and asked them to get out of the vehicle and for permission to search it.

The search turned up cannabis seeds, Oxycodone pills, a purse with hypodermic needles and a teaspoon, as well as, a tourniquet. The driver, Ryan Lee Downey, 25, of Cedar Key was placed under arrest and took responsibility for the illegal substances. His passenger was released without charges.

When asked how the officers transported the man, since they were on bicycles, Chief Virgil Sandlin explained that one of the officers rode to the Chief’s house and borrowed the police truck.

Sandlin dismissed the suggestion that the department may want to consider rick-shaws for behind the bikes but he recommends that people “consider getting another habit,” besides using drugs and driving without seat belts.