A traffic stop conducted on Dec. 16, 2016 ended with an armed carjacking, a large amount of drugs recovered and two men going jail.
On Dec. 16, 2016 at approximately 3:20 p.m., a Winter Haven Police officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by 26 year-old Christopher Redner (DOB 5-18-90, 6662 Crescent Loop, Winter Haven) traveling 40 mph in a 25 mph zone. The traffic stop was conducted in the area of Post Ave SE and 7th St SW in Winter Haven. Thirty-two year-old Jovante Hill (DOB 12-28-83, 2500 Ave A SW, Winter Haven) was a passenger in the vehicle.
When the officer approached the vehicle, he smelled a strong odor of marijuana and asked Redner for consent to search the vehicle. Redner gave consent and both he and Hill exited the vehicle. In the driver’s side door was a straw that had cocaine inside and also 19 Alprazolam (Xanax) pills and drug paraphernalia were located in his pockets. Also, a shoebox was located underneath the passenger seat where Hill was sitting. The moment the officer located the shoebox, Hill took off running south on 7th St. Redner was held at the scene by officers. Hill ran to the Taco Bell parking lot where he jumped into the passenger side of a vehicle in the parking lot where the victim, 33 year-old Walter Bridges (1103 11th Ct NE, Winter Haven) was sitting. Hill pulled out a pocket knife and held it to Bridges’ chest and told him to drive. Officers who chased Hill were able to get the vehicle description and tag number, immediately broadcasting it over the radio. The vehicle traveled south on Hwy 17 and into the area of King Rd. where a Lieutenant with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office saw the vehicle and began following in his unmarked car. The PCSO helicopter was called in and additional officers arrived in the area and a traffic stop was conducted in the area of 42nd St and Spirit Lake Rd. where Hill was taken into custody.
The box found under the seat where Hill was sitting in the original car had Heroin, multiple plastic baggies of marijuana, powder cocaine and multiple pills. (See list below for exact amounts of drugs located inside of the box.)
Redner was arrested and charged with Possession of Cocaine (F3), possession of Alprazolam (F3) and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (M1).
Hill was taken into custody and charged with Armed Carjacking (F1), Trafficking Cocaine (F1), Trafficking Oxycodone (F1), Trafficking Heroine (F1), Possession of Alprazolam with Intent to Sell (F3), Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell (F3), Possession of Oxymorphone (F3), Possession of Buprenorphine (M2), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (M1) and Resisting Officer without Violence (M1).