California man arrested with 10 pounds of marijuana in Estero

A California man was arrested in Estero after his Uber driver demanded he leave the car on suspicion of possessing marijuana. On Saturday, Florida …
ESTERO
Published: February 17, 2019 9:41 PM EST

A California man was arrested in Estero after his Uber driver demanded he leave the car on suspicion of possessing marijuana.

On Saturday, Florida Highway Patrol arrested Branden Anthony Charles, 38, after he was found in possession of 10 pounds of marijuana in the parking lot of the Embassy Suites hotel on Corkscrew Road in Estero.

Photo courtesy of Florida Highway Patrol.

According to the FHP release, Charles faces felony charges for Possession of Marijuana Over 20 Grams and Intent to Sell.

According to the FHP release, Charles’ Uber driver, who chose to remain anonymous due to fear for personal safety, became suspicious when he said Charles and his suitcase smelled of marijuana.

The Uber driver told WINK News he refused to continue transporting Charles to his destination and demanded Charles leave the vehicle in the parking lot of the Embassy Suites hotel.

The driver also told WINK News the Uber app helped assist in FHP tracking down his car in order to arrest Charles. Through the app, the driver alerted his wife using the Share My Trip feature and was able to share location and communicate he was in distress and needed assistance from law enforcement. The driver said he will no longer work for Uber because of continued fear for his safety.

“I want them to be safe,” the driver told WINK News on record in the video above. “I want them to know about the [Share my Trip] feature because there are a lot of women, single women, that are driving Uber just to get by. They should know that this works, and they should use it.”

According to the arrest report, Charles’ last known home address is in Los Angeles, California.

According to the FHP release, Charles was also found in possession of $15,000 in cash.

Charles was put behind bars at Lee County Jail and paid bond posted at $5,000.

Charles is scheduled to appear in court in March.

Trust WINK News to update you as more information becomes available.

Reporter: Morgan Rynor
Writer: Jack Lowenstein
SHARE

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Didi Chuxing axes jobs in China as it readies for launches in Chile and Peru

Didi Chuxing, China’s dominant ride-hailing company, is axing 15% of its Chinese staff as it readies to take on Uber in Chile and Peru.

Didi Chuxing, China’s dominant ride-hailing company, is axing 15% of its Chinese staff as it readies to take on Uber in Chile and Peru.

Didi announced around 2,000 employees will be let go as it seeks to refocus the company around the core ride-sharing business.

It follows media reports claiming Didi lost $1.6bn in 2018 and spent $1.67bn on subsidies for drivers. The reports also claimed the company had not been profitable for six years.

The ride-hailing company also announced plans to recruit 2,500 employees to increase its expertise in safety technology, products and driver management.

The changes are part of a shift in focus towards safety and compliance in the wake of increased regulation following a number of high-profile attacks of passengers, including two murders.

Didi said it will also focus on recruiting staff to boost its capabilities and skills for globalisation as the company continues to expand internationally.

Didi has begun recruiting staff as it prepares to launch operations in Chile and Peru. It follows the company’s launch in Brazil and Mexico last year.

The move will see the Chinese company once again go head to head with Uber in a battle to be the dominant ride-hailing service.

In 2016, Didi bought Uber’s Chinese operations in a show of strength and domination over its US rival.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Uber revenue up 43% in 2018 but profit remains elusive

Uber Technologies announced on Friday global revenue of US$11.3 billion for 2018, up 43 percent from the prior year, but remained deep in the red …

Uber Technologies announced on Friday global revenue of US$11.3 billion for 2018, up 43 percent from the prior year, but remained deep in the red even though it managed to reduce the losses.

Losses before taxes, depreciation and other expenses amounted to US$1.8 billion for the full year, an improvement over the US$2.2 billion loss posted in 2017, Reuters reports.

Releasing select financial figures on Friday, Uber highlighted the annual bookings figure, which was up 45 percent over 2017 at US$50 billion.

The number includes total bookings for its ride-service and food-delivery businesses.

Uber in December filed confidentially for an initial public offering, which may come as early as the second quarter this year.

The company is racing neck-and-neck with rival Lyft to become the first ride-hailing IPO.

“Last year was our strongest yet, and Q4 set another record,” Uber Chief Financial Officer Nelson Chai said in a statement.

But figures showed revenue grew just 2 percent in the fourth quarter, a sign that Uber continues to heavily subsidize rides in competitive markets, raising questions about its future growth prospects, Reuters noted.

Uber said gross bookings for the fourth quarter were a record US$14.2 billion, up 11 percent from the prior quarter.

That marks an improvement after bookings growth slowed to just single-digit percentages throughout much of last year.

Uber’s revenue in the fourth quarter reached US$3 billion, up 2 percent from the third quarter and a 24 percent increase over the previous year.

The food-delivery service, Uber Eats, accounts for more than US$2.5 billion in bookings quarterly, according to a Reuters sources.

Uber has trumpeted Uber Eats as the largest online food delivery business outside of China.

Ongoing intense competition with ride-hailing foes across the globe has kept Uber in the red.

Uber Eats is also battling a crowded food-delivery industry, forcing it to adopt discounting tactics to compete with companies like food-delivery startup DoorDash and restaurant and grocery delivery firm Postmates.

Uber has no plans to slow investment in Uber Eats or other costly areas such as autonomous car development to show profit any time soon.

The company’s losses before interest, taxes and depreciation spiked in the fourth quarter to US$940 million, a 43 percent jump over the previous quarter and 21 percent increase from 2017.

– Contact us at [email protected]

RC

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Uber Reports $1.8B Loss In 2018 Ahead Of $120B IPO

Making money still seems like a lost art for Uber Technologies Inc., the world’s largest ride-hailing firm, which reported a loss of $1.8 billion in 2018.

Making money still seems like a lost art for Uber Technologies Inc., the world’s largest ride-hailing firm, which reported a loss of $1.8 billion in 2018. Sales growth also slowed.

Uber’s announcement of this loss in its select financial results released over the weekend comes ahead of the company’s much-anticipated IPO. Analysts expect Uber might be valued as much as $120 billion when it IPOs in the coming months. If this massive estimate holds, the amount will make Uber’s IPO the largest in history.

The IPO will eclipse the existing largest IPO posted by China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Alibaba raised $25 billion in 2014. The largest IPO for any U.S.-based firm is the one for General Motors Corporation, which amassed $20.1 billion in 2010.

Uber’s mammoth $1.8 billion loss, however, is still a clear improvement from 2017 when Uber suffered losses amounting to $2.2 billion. In November 2018, Uber said it lost $1.07 billion in the three months ending in September, a 20 percent jump from the $891 million loss in the second quarter as the transportstion network company invested in new services such as food deliveries and electric scooters, said CNN.

Uber also recorded slower sales growth for Q4 2018. Its revenue came to only $3 billion in the final quarter of last year, a scant two percent rise from the previous quarter and up 25 percent compared to the same period in 2017.

In contrast, Uber’s revenue in Q3 2018 jumped 38 percent year-on-year. Its Q2 quarter revenue skyrocketed by a huge 63 percent year-on-year.

Last year, Uber gained significant revenues from selling its business in Southeast Asia to Grab. Uber also merged its Russia business with Yandex. The company’s Q4 financials exclude the impact of those sales on Uber’s business.

Analysts noted Uber’s pattern of weakening sales growth is triggering alarm bells among potential investors on Wall Street ahead of the IPO. They said Uber will have to do much, much more to justify its stratospheric valuation oof $120 billion. Uber has filed the initial paperwork for the IPO.


Uber appA smartphone showing the Uber app and nearby Uber taxis. Uber posted a huge loss in 2018 ahead of its eagerly anticipated IPO.Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has repeatedly said the company will go public this year. He has helped Uber invest in areas beyond cars such as electric-bike sharing, electric scooters and food delivery.

The company’s ridesharing business maintained category leadership in all regions we serve, said Uber CFO Nelson Chai. He said Uber Freight “gained traction in the U.S., JUMP e-bikes and e-scooters are on the road in over a dozen cities, and we believe Uber Eats (a delivery service) became the largest online food delivery business outside of China, based on gross bookings.”

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Uber is suing New York City… again

The long-running battle between the gig industry and the Big Apple has taken yet another turn. Despite the best efforts of Uber and Lyft to find some …

The long-running battle between the gig industry and the Big Apple has taken yet another turn. Despite the best efforts of Uber and Lyft to find some sort of compromise and accommodation with the municipal government of New York City, new laws were passed that put a cap on new licenses for ride-hailing vehicles and mandated a minimum hourly wage for drivers. This was done knowing full well that it undercuts the entire concept of ride-sharing services. And now Uber is joining Lyft in taking the city to court over these restrictions. (CNBC)

Uber sued New York City on Friday over the City Council’s vote last August to impose a year-long cap on new licenses for ride-hailing vehicles. Uber’s lawsuit seeks to reverse the cap and allow new licenses again.

New York’s cap was designed to limit the number of vehicles on the road, reducing congestion and helping taxi drivers, who say their livelihoods were hurt by the influx of ride-haling drivers in the city. It also allowed the state of New York to set a minimum hourly rate for drivers, which Uber’s rival Lyft sued to reverse earlier this year.

“Rather than rely on alternatives supported by transportation experts and economists, the City chose to significantly restrict service, growth and competition by the for-hire vehicle industry, which will have a disproportionate impact on residents outside of Manhattan who have long been underserved by yellow taxis and mass transit,” Uber’s lawsuit says.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliances union is behind most of these laws (along with their lobbyists and the taxi company owners. They’re lining up in support of the new laws based on a complaint that Uber and Lyft are harming their business prospects. Their representative cited eight taxi workers who committed suicide in the recent past “because of the crisis Uber created.” And the city government is repeating their claims.

While it’s a tragedy when anyone become depressed enough to turn to suicide, I have a newsflash for the Mayor, the City Council, and these union supporters. No company or particular business model has an inherent right to be free from competition or to have government endorsed insurance against the results of not keeping up with innovation. Sorry if that sounds cold-hearted, but the reality is that ride-sharing outfits are providing massively better service than the cab companies do, generally at comparable or even discounted rates. Most people I know who try Uber once swear off cabs for good.

Just because one industry or a specific set of companies can’t keep up doesn’t mean that their competition should be squashed by the government, no matter how much money those special interests donate to the Democrats who run New York City. The city is passing laws specifically intended to restrict competition and favor their friends and they need to be called out on this in court. The complaints about “traffic congestion” are a red herring and you shouldn’t need a special license to use your own car to offer rides in the first place. Or, if you want to insist they have a chauffer’s license, you shouldn’t be limiting the number of available licenses just to thwart competition and distort the market.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts