Traffic Stop Leads to Felony Drug Arrest

                                                                                                                          NEWS RELEASE #: 17-052 - FEBRUARY 22, 2017

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested a Bradenton man on felony charges after a traffic stop led deputies to the discovery of a loaded gun, stolen motorcycle and drugs.

Deputies in the area of Lockwood Ridge and Gocio roads in Sarasota first made contact with Joshua Welage, DOB 01/30/85, just after 2:00 a.m., Wednesday morning. Welage was stopped when deputies noticed the license plate on his motorcycle was expired by two years. When deputies made contact with Welage, he disclosed that he had a firearm in his pocket but did not have a permit to carry. Deputies seized the .380 caliber loaded gun and during a search, found methamphetamine and fentanyl. Further investigation into the motorcycle's VIN number revealed that it was reported stolen out of Manatee County in January.

Welage was taken into custody and charged with Carrying a Concealed Firearm, Possession of Fentanyl, Possession of Methamphetamine, Grand Theft of a Vehicle, and Operating a Motorcycle without a License. Welage's bond was set at $6,120 and he is currently being processed and released from the Sarasota County Jail.

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Joseph Welage