U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell has sentenced Edgar Vazquez (36, Fort Myers) to 11 years in federal prison for possessing with the intent to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine. The court also ordered Vazquez to forfeit a firearm and ammunition that were involved in the offense. VazquezContinue Reading

U.S. District Judge Charlene Edwards Honeywell has sentenced Antonie Latimore (36, Winter Haven) to 10 years and 10 months years in federal prison for conspiring to distribute cocaine base. Latimore had pleaded guilty on March 6, 2020. According to court documents, the FBI received information that Latimore, spelled in someContinue Reading

crime

United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the return of an indictment charging Steven Michael Smith (35, Jacksonville) with possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine, possessing a short-barreled shotgun in furtherance of that drug trafficking crime, possessing firearms as a convicted felon, and possessing an unregistered short-barreled shotgun andContinue Reading

Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration revoked emergency authorization for the malaria drug promoted by President Trump, hydroxychloroquine, warning of serious side effects and increasing evidence that the treatment doesn’t work. The FDA also warned doctors against prescribing the drugs in combination with remdesivir, a drug currently shown to helpContinue Reading

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced that a Port Richey man, Angelo David Salvarezza, has been sentenced to federal prison on charges of drug dealing and firearm possession. Salvarezza, 38, of Port Richey, was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for possessing with theContinue Reading

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced legislation on Thursday to end no-knock warrants, a measure that appears to have bipartisan support as demand grows for police reform. Titled “Justice for Breonna Taylor Act,” the law would prohibit federal law enforcement from carrying out a warrant “until after the officer provides notice of hisContinue Reading

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced the indictment of a two people from Clearwater, Courtney Marie Michaelis and Nicholas Andrew Ham, with the illegal distribution of fentanyl. Michaelis, 37, and Ham, 21, have been charged with distributing fentanyl resulting in serious bodily injury to anContinue Reading

A national panel of health experts is for the first time recommending that clinicians screen all adults for unhealthy drug use. From the abstract, under Importance: An estimated 12% of adults 18 years or older and 8% of adolescents aged 12 to 17 years report unhealthy use of prescription orContinue Reading

Four Florida men were charged in an indictment unsealed Thursday for their alleged participation in a compound pharmacy kickback scheme. Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez of the Middle District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Cyndy Bruce ofContinue Reading

This week, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) announced the allocation of $6.6 million from the Overdose Data to Action (OD2A) Grant to 14 Counties to assist local communities in the fight against all-drug overdose and opioid abuse. The Department’s receipt of the $58.8 million OD2A grant was first announced on OctoberContinue Reading

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) announced Wednesday the arrest of a man charged with the shooting and murder of a woman in Brandon on April 7. Be’Quadre Jackson, 18, was arrested May 15 and charged with Murder in the First Degree, Robbery and Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. OnContinue Reading

The U.S. Department of Labor Friday announced the award of an opioid-crisis Dislocated Worker Grant (DWG) to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity for up to $2,500,000, with $833,333 released initially. This grant funding will address the workforce impacts of the opioid crisis by providing employment services to eligible individualsContinue Reading

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published an update on the outbreak of life-threatening coagulopathy associated with synthetic cannabinoids use this week and year-to-date, Florida has reported six cases. Since the index patient with hypocoagulopathy associated with synthetic cannabinoids use was identified on March 8, 2018 in Illinois,Continue Reading