Former commissioner back in jail on cocaine charges
Brian Bigelow arrested after testing positive for cocaine
LEE COUNTY - A former Lee County commissioner back in jail tonight, accused of doing cocaine while out on bond for other criminal charges. Brian Bigelow's mug shot is a far cry from his clean-cut days as a crusading commissioner. Four in your Corner's Mike Mason showing you why authorities believe he was doing cocaine.
Mike Mason: "Are you sober now?”
Brian Bigelow: "Yes, absolutely I am."
The former commissioner had his first brush with the law a few months ago, back then he promised he was clean and sober.
Mike Mason: "So you're sober now?"
Brian Bigelow: "Yes, yes thank you I appreciate the question, I do."
But Bigelow admits his life since then has spiraled out of control. Last month police arrested him after they say he was acting nervous outside this Fort Myers apartment complex. They say when they approached him, a K-9 sniffed out 10 baggies of cocaine in Bigelow's front pocket.
Bigelow was then arrested and charged with cocaine possession. The conditions of his pre-trial release included random drug tests. According to reports, on January 30th Bigelow failed a screening....testing positive for cocaine. He was once again arrested and is now at the Lee County jail with no bond.
Kevin Lewis: "Cocaine is very powerful on the brain, very much so."
Kevin Lewis is CEO of Southwest Florida Addiction Services. He says overcoming any addiction can be a tremendous struggle.
Kevin Lewis: "You have to commit to a lifestyle and you have to give your brain 6 to 18 months to stabilize, most people don't recover accidentally it's a very grueling purposeful effort they make."
In November, Bigelow told us he had been sober for 20 years after entering treatment.
Brian Bigelow: "I entered treatment in 1990, December 12th of '90, I exited January 8th of '91."
Bigelow also told me he was planning to go back to rehab last week, instead he failed a drug test and will now be forced to sober up in jail.
Kevin Lewis: "Once the substance is reintroduced it alters the brain chemistry again and can actually trigger the brain to be back where it was 20 years ago."
Bigelow's next court date is set for February 18th. We called his attorney for comment but have not heard back.