PUNTA GORDA — Charlotte County Sheriff’s detectives arrested two Punta Gorda area men for dealing in stolen property after the owner found his stolen 4-x-8-foot homemade trailer for sale on Craigslist and a local phone number to contact. Several large items with a total value of $6,895 were stolen Sept. 3 from a storage shed south of Punta Gorda. Monday, the owner of the trailer contacted detectives about the listing. The phone number belonged to a 28-year-old homeless man, Christopher Brett Worley, who was staying at the time in the home owned by 55-year-old William Ray Horner. James Dalton Whidden, 19, was also living in the home in the 28100 block of Pasadena Drive in Tropical Gulf Acres.
CCSO Narcotics detectives were notified and they called the number in the classified ad and made an offer to buy the trailer. The price was agreed upon and they went to the Pasadena Drive home for the exchange. Undercover detectives met with Worley and Whidden and $425 was paid for the trailer. Whidden said he did not know where the trailer came from but he agreed to list it for sale on Craigslist for Worley. Worley said he purchased the trailer two months ago from a man for $250 and got a title but could not produce the document. The investigation continues by detectives concerning the theft on Oilwell Road on Sept. 3. Narcotics detectives then met with Horner, who said Worley came to his home last Saturday with the trailer containing various SuperSwamper tires and a set of tractor tires. Horner said he had no knowledge of the trailer being stolen. Horner then gave detectives permission to enter his home and make a search. Detectives located a Pyrex smoking pipe under Horner’s pillow in his bedroom that tested positive for methamphetamine. A search of another bedroom where Whidden was staying found a Zip-Lock baggie also containing methamphetamine. Last May 7, CCSO Narcotics Detectives raided Horner’s home on Pasadena Drive and he was arrested on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of klonopin, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Worley and Whidden were both charged with dealing in stolen property. Whidden was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. Horner was charged with possession of methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Worley posted a $5,000 bond. Horner was released on $3,500 bond. Whidden remains in the Charlotte County Jail on $15,000 bond.
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