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Deputies: Man found with 20 pounds of marijuana after possible abduction call

Daniel Battista, 31, was arrested.
Posted at 3:39 PM, Feb 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-26 15:39:16-05

SUWANNEE COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — Deputies say a call for a possible abduction led them to discover 20 pounds of marijuana inside a man's hotel room.

Daniel Battista, 31, was arrested by the Suwannee County Sheriff's Office on Sunday.

On Feb. 24, deputies received a request for mutual aid regarding a welfare check on a woman who was possibly forced into a vehicle in Lake City earlier.

Deputies found Battista's car in the parking lot of the Quality Inn Motel near the intersection of U.S. 129 North and I-10. The motel staff pointed deputies toward the room Battista was staying in and stated that they believed a woman and a child were inside of the room.

Deputies tried speak to the people inside the room, but they refused to answer the door. When the hotel staff opened the door, deputies found Battista standing behind the door along with the woman Columbia County deputies requested them to check on.

As deputies were in the process of searching for the child that was reported to be in the room, they discovered a large quantity of marijuana in the bathroom.

The woman told deputies that she willingly left with Battista and was not forced into the vehicle. No child was found in the room.

Battista later admitted that the 20 pounds of marijuana belonged to him.

Deputies also found a small amount of cocaine (0.5g), MDMA (2.6g), two vape pens which contained THC oil along with $6,160 in cash and a vacuum sealer.

He was taken to the Suwannee County Jail where he has been charged with, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of cocaine, possession of controlled substance (MDMA), possession of controlled substance (THC), and possession of drug paraphernalia.