A traffic stop on the night of Sunday, Aug. 15, led sheriff’s deputies to discover thousands of dollars in cash, marijuana and illegally harvested lobster on two Miami men. 

The case began at approximately 11:30 p.m. when deputy Jorge Moreno stopped a northbound black Ford F-150 pickup truck on U.S.1 at MM 86 in Islamorada after 911 communications specialists informed him the truck came back as not being registered and the tag that was attached as not being assigned to the truck. The truck was emitting a strong odor of marijuana.

The driver, Lazaro Rolando Martinez, 27, handed another deputy a mason jar of marijuana as well as THC oil vape pen. The front passenger, Edward Franklin Mora, 27, also produced a mason jar with marijuana.

 A search ensued and $3,590 in cash was found in Martinez’s possession. Additional marijuana and baggies were found inside the truck which Martinez and Mora each claimed ownership.

 A total of 37 lobsters were found in buckets in the truck bed, of which 23 were found to be undersized. Martinez claimed ownership of the lobsters. The lobsters were returned to the water — six of which were still alive.

Martinez was charged with possession of half a Alprazolam tablet without a prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana (38.5 grams), possession of THC oil and driving an unregistered vehicle. He was also cited for possessing 23 undersized lobsters and 31 over-the-limit lobsters.

 Mora was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana (114.8 grams) and possession of THC oil.

There was an additional male and two females who were not charged. Martinez and Mora were taken to jail.

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Jim McCarthy believes in community reporting, giving back and life on the water. A workout fanatic, diver and a bogey-golfer, Jim loves chicken wings, Marvel movies and sports.