Federal authorities have taken steps to seize a Florida home that is alleged to have been the base of a criminal organization that distributed large amounts of cocaine and methamphetamine in Gadsden, Leon, Jefferson, Wakulla and Franklin counties. The 57-year-old owner of the property, which reports indicate sits on 8.23 acres, was taken into custody on Jan. 17 after agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration raided the property.
The raid followed a five-month investigation in which the DEA was assisted by the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. During the investigation, agents installed cameras to surveil individuals allegedly entering the home to deliver or pick up drugs and gathered evidence from wiretaps and confidential informants. In papers filed with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, the DEA alleges that the property was the main distribution point for the organization and was also used to store equipment, vehicles and the proceeds of illegal narcotics sales.
The owner of the property is facing a raft of charges including counts of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and a weapons charge. A 35-year-old man and a 46-year-old man were also taken into custody when law enforcement raided the home.
Cases such as this one often move forward when one of the individuals taken into custody agrees to cooperate with police in return for more lenient treatment. Experienced criminal defense attorneys may view such statements with skepticism, and they could seek to have drug trafficking charges reduced or dismissed when they are not supported by corroborating evidence.