A 51-year-old Florida man and six other suspects were taken into custody on Jan. 15 when detectives and agents assigned to the Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team simultaneously executed seven search warrants in the Silver Springs Shore area. The locations were identified during a narcotics investigation that lasted for several months according to a press release. The search warrants were executed after deputies took the prime suspect into custody during a traffic stop.
SWAT teams were sent in ahead of detectives to ensure that the locations to be searched were safe. Searches were conducted at an unidentified business, two storage units and four residences. The searches allegedly led to the discovery and seizure of about 940 grams of methamphetamine, 369 grams of marijuana, 75 grams of heroin, 28 grams of cocaine and approximately 88 prescription pills. Detectives and agents also found $31,016 in U.S. currency and nine firearms.
The individuals taken into custody face charges including drug possession, drug trafficking, carrying a concealed weapon and renting a property for the purposes of drug manufacturing and distribution. The bond of the primary suspect has been set at $227,500. He is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 18. Agencies taking part in the operation included the Dunnellon Police Department, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Law enforcement tends to cast a fairly wide net during drug sweeps like this one, but officers do not always gather sufficient evidence to prove drug charges beyond reasonable doubt against all of the suspects they take into custody. This is why experienced criminal defense attorneys may advise individuals apprehended during such an operation to ask for a lawyer and remain silent. Individuals in these situations may also have leverage during plea negotiations as prosecutors could be eager to gather more evidence against their prime suspects.