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First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross

ONLY IN FLORIDA: A 'Big' Drug Bust, A Grits Attack, And A Reminder Not To Mess With Manatees

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Volusia County Sheriff's Office
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A truly big drug bust and some truly stupid vacationers are among the stories in this week's ONLY IN FLORIDA.ONLY IN FLORIDA is our weekly roundup of the strange, bizarre and just plain ridiculous headlines from right here in the Sunshine State.

ONLY IN FLORIDA do drug suspects hide their stash in their enormously fat stomachs.

Christopher Mitchell, 42, was pulled over last week in Volusia County during a routine traffic stop.

Mitchell, who goes by the aliases “Biggie” and “Fat Boy” claimed to be too big to buckle up — he’s 5’ 6” and weighs 450 pounds.

Police got suspicious and summoned a drug-sniffing dog. The K9 quickly found a bag with 23 grams of marijuana — hiding in the folds of Mitchell’s stomach fat.

The car also apparently contained powdered carpet freshener and scented dryer sheets, a common tactic used to mask the odor of drugs while being transported.

The case has given a whole new meaning to the phrase “pot belly.” (New York Daily News)

ONLY IN FLORIDA are grits considered a murder weapon.

Fifty-nine-year-old Edward Holley was arrested Wednesday in Central Florida and charged with attempted second-degree murder after police say he threw hot grits on another man.

Police said during an argument Holley told the victim "I've got something for you," and then went into the house, took "scalding hot greasy grits" in a pan and threw it on the other guy.

The victim suffered second- and third-degree burns on 30 percent of his body. (Orlando Sentinel)

ONLY IN FLORIDA do men run afoul of the law for "cannonballing" manatees.

Three vacationers videotaped themselves luring and then jumping off a dock onto an adult manatee and a calf in Cocoa Beach last year and posted the clip on Facebook, which was then found by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Taylor Martin and Seth Stephenson, both 22, have been ordered to pay a total of $5,000 in fines, undergo 175 hours of community service each and each serve two years probation.

Martin and Stephenson have also been ordered to individually post "an apology and a statement of remorse" on Facebook.

Manatees are protected under the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Federal authorities are also reportedly pursuing charges against a third unidentified man seen in the video. (Florida Today)

EDITOR'S NOTE: If you ever see someone touching, chasing, feeding, jumping on, riding or otherwise harming a manatee please report them immediately to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922), tip@myfwc.com, or marine radio VHF Channel 16. - PD

Send your ONLY IN FLORIDA suggestions to firstcoastconnect@wjct.org.

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax and Patrick Donges at @patrickhdonges.