Miami-Dade police pulled over Stephen Gutierrez, 32, for a busted headlight, on Monday night
The officer noticed a bulge in Gutierrez’s pocket, which the cop initially thought was a knife, cops said the bulge was actually a container filled with cocaine
As the officer inspected the substance, Gutierrez blurted out, “That’s cocaine”
The drug possession arrest of former Miami attorney Stephen Gutierrez’s arrest comes after his license to practice was supended last Feb. before being revoked in Oct.
The Miami based lawyer whose pants caught on fire during a 2017 arson trial was arrested Monday on a cocaine charge.
After Miami-Dade police pulled over Stephen Gutierrez, 32, for a busted headlight, on Monday night, the officer noticed a bulge in Gutierrez’s pocket, which the cop initially thought was a knife.
Cops said the bulge was actually a container filled with cocaine. Infact, as the officer inspected the substance, Gutierrez blurted out, “That’s cocaine,” according to the arrest report.
The one time attorney was arrested and taken to jail. He posted bond on Tuesday morning.
Gutierrez’s arrest comes after his license to practice was suspended in February 2020, before being revoked in October, according to Florida Bar records.
He made headlines four years ago while he was defending a client who was accused of setting his car on fire for insurance money.
In March 2017 case, defense counsel Gutierrez’s pants caught fire in the middle of his closing argument. He had been defending his client by arguing the car could’ve spontaneously combusted. He insisted his fiery pants were merely a coincidence and not a stunt to convince the jury.
Nonetheless, his client, Claudy Charles, was convicted of second-degree arson.
Prosecutors could not prove Gutierrez had acted with criminal intent. Gutierrez claimed the fire had coincidentally been ignited during his defense by the battery from his e-cigarette.
Witnesses in the courtroom said the moment was “surreal,” as Gutierrez rushed out of the courtroom while smoke billowed from his pocket.
Gutierrez said as the heat intensified, he hurried into the bathroom where he tossed the battery in water. He was able to return to the courtroom with a singed pocket.
“This was not staged,” Gutierrez said.
“No one thinks that a battery left in their pocket is somehow going to ‘explode. After careful research, I now know this can happen. I am not the only one this has happened to, but I am in a position to shed light on the situation.”
According to Florida Bar records, Gutierrez’s initial suspension was connected to the arson case. The bar’s complaint said Gutierrez’s case lacked merit, his actions during court proceedings caused prejudice and they were “contrary to honesty and justice.”