Crime

Five teens were pulled over. Two were arrested after Keys cops found guns and drugs

In the year since Parkland, nearly 1,200 youths have died from gun violence

The Miami Herald, McClatchy and The Trace, an online nonprofit news organization that covers firearms issues, tracked gun deaths among youths 18 and under in the year since the Parkland, Florida school shooting.
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The Miami Herald, McClatchy and The Trace, an online nonprofit news organization that covers firearms issues, tracked gun deaths among youths 18 and under in the year since the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

Two Florida Keys teens — one who is an adult — face felony gun and drug charges after deputies pulled over the car they were in Wednesday and found two pistols, marijuana and vape pens with marijuana oil, according to a sheriff’s office press release.

Deputies pulled over a Nissan around 7:30 p.m. in the Newport Village subdivision because they received calls that a group of teens were doing drugs inside a car, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Adam Linhardt said.

In total, there were five teens in the car.

Deputies Joel Torres and Ignacio Molina searched the car and found a loaded .38 caliber Glock pistol on the floorboard between the center console and the driver’s seat, and a loaded .380 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver inside the car’s glove compartment, Linhardt said.

Luke Eric Townsend, 18, from Tavernier, faces felony a charge of possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor. A 16-year-old boy who was driving faces felony possession of a concealed weapon without a permit and misdemeanor drug and drug equipment possession.

Townsend said the revolver, as well as well as a vape pen with marijuana oil, were his, Linhardt said. Deputies are still trying to determine if the gun really belongs to him and if he has a concealed weapons permit.

The 16-year-old, who has not been named because he is a minor, said the Glock was his, as was a small amount of marijuana cops found in the center console wrapped in foil, Linhardt said. The boy told deputies he found the pistol in the Everglades and held on to it for protection from some people who had been threatening him.

Linhardt said both guns came back clear as far as not having been reported stolen or used in a crime.

Townsend was arrested Wednesday night and released from jail Thursday afternoon. He could not be reached for comment. His bond information was not immediately available. The 16-year-old’s parents were called and he was placed in the custody of the state Department of Juvenile Justice.

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