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Trooper Bennett
Trooper Austin Bennett

Trooper Nardiello
Trooper Richard Nardiello

On December 12, 2002, as Trooper Austin C. Bennett was training with his Field Training Officer, Trooper Richard Nardiello, he responded to a BOLO (be on the lookout) issued by an off-duty Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Deputy, who had been following an impaired driver traveling northbound on Interstate 95 in Broward County. Trooper Bennett positioned his patrol car in the median of Interstate 95 northbound to wait for the suspect’s vehicle to arrive at his location. In a few minutes, Trooper Bennett observed the vehicle, and proceeded to pull out and assume the lead position behind the suspect’s car. After observing the suspect’s erratic driving, Bennett pulled him over to conduct the traffic stop.

Trooper Bennett then asked the driver to step out of his vehicle, and observed the driver’s unsteady and sluggish movements. Trooper Nardiello took note of a bulge in the suspect’s front pocket and conducted a search, finding a folding knife. As a result of finding the weapon, a pat down search was made revealing a white plastic film container. The suspect volunteered that the container had marijuana inside of it.

A subsequent search of the suspect’s vehicle revealed two syringes, 6 ounces of heroin in zip lock baggies, a metal spoon with heroin residue, a ceramic type pipe with cannabis residue, and a brown glass bottle containing an unknown liquid.

 

 
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