Hillsborough County
Chad Chronister, Sheriff
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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


    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


    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


  • Sheriff Chad Chronister
    Sheriff Chad Chronister
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