Polk Co. traffic stop ends in armed carjacking, recovery of large amount of drugs

Hill and Redner

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (WFLA) – A Winter Haven traffic stop ended with an armed carjacking, a large amount of drugs recovered and two men arrested on Friday.

The Winter Haven police department confirmed an officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven by Christopher Redner, 26.  Jovante Hill, 32, was a passenger in the vehicle.

When the officer approached the vehicle, he smelled a strong odor of marijuana and asked Redner if he could search the vehicle.

Redner consented and he and Hill exited the vehicle.

The office found a straw with cocaine inside the driver’s side door and 19 Xanax pills and drug paraphernalia in Redner’s pockets.

A shoebox was found underneath the passenger’s seat.

When the officer took the shoebox, Hill took off running south on 7th Street.  He ran to a parking lot of a Taco Bell and jumped into the passenger’s side vehicle where the victim, Walter Bridges, 33, was sitting.

Hill allegedly pulled out a pocket knife, held it to Bridges’ throat and told him to drive.

Hill was chased by deputies from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the PSCO helicopter.

Hill was taken into custody in the area of 42nd Street and Spirit Lake Road.

The box found by the officer contained heroin, multiple baggies of marijuana, cocaine and multiple pills.

Redner was charged with possession of cocaine, possession of alprazolam (Xanax) and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Hill was charged with armed carjacking, counts of trafficking cocaine, Oxycodone, and heroin, possession of Alprazolam and Marijuana with intent to sell, and various other drug charges.

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