A defendant leaving St. Lucie County traffic court Tuesday drove away from the courthouse and straight into trouble, the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office said today. Brian Lavince Mathis of Broward County was in court in Fort Pierce for a case of driving with a suspended license that dated back to August, Sheriff Ken J. Mascara said. "The judge warned defendants with suspended licenses not to drive, but Mr. Mathis apparently ignored that warning," Mascara said. Court security deputies noticed Mathis had a lanyard around his neck with car keys dangling from it, so they followed him outside, where he got into a black 2000 Honda sedan and started to drive away. When the deputies stopped Mathis nearby, they saw a bag of marijuana in the vehicle.
Mathis told them he didn't think it was his because he thought he'd smoked the marijuana he had before going to his court appearance, the sheriff said. In the back seat of the car, deputies found one-half pound of marijuana, 2.7 grams of powdered cocaine, some pills, a scale and more than $500 cash, Mascara said. Mathis, 26, was awaiting booking at the St. Lucie County jail Tuesday night on charges of possession of cocaine with intent to sell, possession of marijuana with intent to sell, possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and habitually driving with a suspended license. Total bond will be set at $50,000: