Crime

Suspect: I didn't know cocaine is illegal

A Key West man was jailed Sunday for allegedly trying to ditch a bag of cocaine in a planter at the Pier House Resort at 1 Duval St. in Key West.

Guy Lanchester, 46, reportedly told Officer Darnell Sealy he didn't know why he was being arrested: "I don't understand. I thought cocaine wasn't illegal in Florida."

Sealy arrested Lanchester about 2 a.m. following a call from a Pier House security guard who saw Lanchester and two others walk onto the property, then heard a scream.

In addition to cocaine possession, Lanchester is charged with felony tampering with evidence. Sealy describes the second charge: "I asked Lanchester what he had in his hand and Lanchester quickly shoved his hands into the flower pot and yanked them back out."

Police found less than a gram of cocaine in the planter. Two people with Lanchester were searched, then released.

Lanchester works as a painter, according to booking information maintained by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

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