The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is seeking to obtain almost $45,000 in funds its deputies discovered in the course of a raid upon the Plant City home of a man alleged to have been engaged in the sale of illegal drugs.
A filing in state court late last week alleges that the money was used in connection with illegal narcotic activity, and therefore in violation of the Florida Contraband Act. If the court agrees, the sheriff’s office could wind up with a significant windfall.
According to sheriff’s deputies, an informant passed information to a deputy in late winter this year accusing Nesbit Andrew Willhite of illegally obtaining painkillers and selling them, along with methamphetamine.
Deputies say that they met with the informant again in early October. The informant said he had recently purchased crystal meth from Willhite, leading investigators from the sheriff’s office to begin gathering further information on him. They say they discovered an address alleged to be where Willhite was selling illegal drugs and orchestrated a controlled purchase using the informant as a buyer.
The alleged purchase, carried out by the informant and coordinated by HCSO Detective Brent Mayes, occurred on November 8. Mayes alleges that the informant returned from the purchase with crystal meth and that the informant told him that Willhite possessed a bag with a significant quantity of the substance.
Sheriff’s deputies executed a warrant at the residence the next day. They say they stopped a woman, later identified as Willhite’s girlfriend Carol Swilley, with a bag containing meth on her way out of the residence. They further allege that they arrested Willhite in the residence, and that he admitted to the illegal sale of drugs from his home and that the funds in question were proceeds from that activity.
According to an inventory compiled at the time of the warrant’s execution, deputies seized 3.5 pounds of crystal meth, two pounds of cannabis, 63 grams of morphine, seven grams of Oxycodone, another 63 grams of Opana, two handguns, and one AK-47 rifle.
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