Hillsborough County
Chad Chronister, Sheriff
Tampa, FL
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    Release Number: 17-210

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • May 19, 2017
    • Contact Person:
    • Public Information Office : piocommandcenter@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8060

    Spice Investigations

    Sheriff David Gee briefed the media on two investigations into illegal narcotics and numerous arrests that have occurred.
    • Friday
    • May 19, 2017
    • Time: 11:15 AM
    • Criminal Investigations Division
    • 2224 North Falkenburg Road
    • Tampa, Florida

    Details:

    On May 19, 2017, Sheriff David Gee briefed the media on two investigations into illegal narcotics and numerous arrests that have occurred.

    Spice Investigation:

    Over the past several years, incidents involving subjects under the influence of synthetic marijuana, commonly know as “spice” has increased. These incidents include overdoses and intoxicated suspects who sometimes attack or violently resist law enforcement.

    The Sheriff's Office developed strategy aimed at all levels of spice distribution, to include street-level dealers, mid level distributors and businesses as well as upper level spice manufacturers. Throughout the investigation, detectives investigated a wide range of suspects, including homeless persons and certified gang members, as well as business owners with no prior involvement in the criminal justice system.

    Detectives coordinated with the State Attorney's Office regarding operations and search warrants. Additionally, the group was assisted by agents of the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverage and Tobacco and Hillsborough County Code Enforcement, who assisted with citing and revoking the licenses of businesses actively selling spice.

    Two major investigations were conducted during the operation. The first case occurred in District One near the University of South Florida, and resulted in the seizure of 150 pounds (approximately 7,200 packages) of spice packaged for sale. During the investigation, another 222 pounds of Damiana leaves used to manufacture spice was seized, along with $10,500 in U.S. Currency. The spice had an approximate street value of $352,000.00.

    The second investigation involved the dismantling of a spice manufacturing operation and the seizure of 92 pounds of spice with a street value of approximately $87,500.00. Along with the spice, detectives seized numerous containers of chemicals used to manufacture and package spice.

    Below are the statistics from the spice investigation:
    • 36 arrests – 61 felony charges
    • 6 active warrants – 7 felony charges
    • 4 manufacturers arrested and warrants issued on 2 manufacturers
    • 3 store clerks arrested
    Court authorized search warrants and consent searches were served at 5 businesses actively selling spice within Hillsborough County:
    • Mary's Beverage Castle (voluntarily closed subsequent to the search warrant),9401 US Hwy 301 S Gibsonton, FL
    • Stop & Pick Citgo Gas Station (search warrant), 1815 Waters Avenue West, Tampa, FL
    • Apollo Beach Food Mart (search warrant), 6020 US Hwy 41 South, Apollo Beach, FL
    • The Rex Motel, Units 3 & 4 (search warrant),2939 W Hillsborough Avenue, Tampa, FL
    • The Highland Pines Market (consent search),3011 Melburne Boulevard, Tampa, FL

    Arrested:


    Anis Hassan, DOB: 1/14/1979


    Armando Hernandez, DOB: 5/28/1958


    Brandon Holliday, DOB: 3/03/1982


    Christian Ruiz, DOB: 5/21/1984


    Corey Perry, DOB: 11/10/1997


    David Johnson, DOB: 9/10/1970


    Demetrious Nellon, DOB: 4/03/1984


    Dominique Searight, DOB: 11/01/1987


    Elicio Valdez, DOB: 2/09/1986


    Erik Thomas, DOB: 1/20/1997


    Felicia Hobley-Ransom, DOB: 9/20/1971


    Store Clerk: Hasan Kaabneh, DOB: 1/01/1967


    Store Clerk: Hisham Abuaram, DOB: 1/01/1973


    Horace Bellamy, DOB: 8/20/1980

    (No photo available)
    Ibrahim Alshrouf, DOB: 8/14/1995


    Jamar Potter, DOB: 3/05/1990


    James Brown, DOB: 3/11/1981


    Jorge Sarria, DOB: 9/11/1956


    Joshua Kuhn, DOB: 11/08/1983


    Juan Arroyo, DOB: 2/17/1980


    Keldrick Lockett, DOB: 4/28/1983


    Kentreia Russell, DOB: 5/27/1985


    Leroy Conyers, DOB: 1/01/1977


    Marvin Stanford, DOB: 3/08/1973


    Mauricio Pena, DOB: 4/18/1971


    Melvin Lark, DOB: 3/14/1995


    Store Clerk: Mohamed Eltoukhy, DOB: 9/20/1972


    Najib Ahmad, DOB: 4/11/1985


    Nicholas Hodges, DOB: 6/25/1993


    Nishitkumar Patel, DOB: 6/12/1987


    Phillip Newton, DOB: 8/03/1991


    Ralph Smith, DOB: 8/02/1955


    Randall Davis, DOB: 7/04/1990


    Roger Wakim, DOB: 12/01/1977


    William Baxter, DOB: 6/30/1993


    Yousef Jabari, DOB: 3/19/1976


    Jared Roa, DOB: 1/15/1989


    Jose Mendez, DOB: 9/21/1977

     

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