Convicted Murderer, 3 Others Arrested on Drug & Weapons Charges in Palm Coast


Four men were arrested on Thursday in Palm Coast on drug charges and other offenses, including a formerly convicted murderer who was out on inmate release. All four were taken to the county jail after they were seen conversing in two separate vehicles, and were later found with drugs and weapons, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office says.

The incident began when a FCSO deputy spotted the two vehicles parked at the Circle K gas station on SR-100: a white Dodge Durango and a blue Chevrolet Malibu. The deputy at first suspected the Durango had illegal window tint, leading him to initiate a traffic stop after it pulled onto I-95 northbound.

The driver of the Durango was reportedly 39-year-old Paul Copeland, a Port St. Lucie resident who’d been convicted of second degree murder in 2003. The passenger was 38-year-old Alphonso Williams, an Opa-locka resident. A noticeable odor of marijuana was reportedly evident from the vehicle, and Copeland is said to have told the deputy he had a small amount with him.

When the vehicle was searched, deputies discovered what was described as ‘commercial-grade packages of marijuana’, and a red bag with 3.5 grams of psilocybin mushrooms. A marijuana grinder and scale were found, as were two extra license plates from New York and Illinois. Neither of these tags were reported stolen. Furthermore, the center console is said to have contained a Glock 27 .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine, with the gun having been reported stolen in Hollywood. Though they weren’t necessarily illegal to possess, the FCSO also made note of two sets of gloves, a pair of binoculars, three face masks, two sets of goggles, power tools, and two window-punches.

A few of the items found in the traffic stops.
A few of the items found in the traffic stops.

Copeland was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana, hallucinogens, and drug paraphernalia, grand theft of a firearm, and two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He bonded out two days after his booking. Williams was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and of drug paraphernalia. He bonded out later that day.

The Chevy Malibu that Copeland and Williams were parked next to was also stopped, for allegedly failing to come to a complete stop as it left the Circle K. Its driver was 28-year-old Virgil Woodson Jr. of Opa-locka, and its passenger was 32-year-old Miqual Reddick of Miami. A search was conducted on their vehicle too, leading to the discovery of two more ‘commercial grade marijuana bags’, the FCSO says, plus another pair of the same gloves as in the Durango, more binoculars, and another window-punch. Woodson and Reddick were also arrested. Both were charged with possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, and both bonded out the same day.

In addition to Copeland’s murder conviction, the three other men all have their own criminal histories in Florida. Williams has previously been charged with armed burglary, battery, assault, domestic violence by strangulation, battery on an officer, aggravated assault with a weapon, kidnapping, and several other offenses. Woodson has been charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle and home invasion with a firearm among other things. Reddick has been charged with homicide/manslaughter with a firearm, battery, first degree arson, possession of a firearm on school property, robbery, illegal concealed weapon carrying, and more.

“Four violent offenders clearly up to no good made the fatal mistake of stopping in Flagler County,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “I commend Master Deputy Gaddie for his observation and pro-active patrols. There is no telling how many crimes were prevented by catching these south Florida criminals before they could prey on our community. They found out we don’t play games here in Flagler County.”