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Two Tampa Men Face Murder Charges In Relation To Alleged Drug Deal That Ended In Gunfire

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Hillsborough County authorities say they have arrested two men responsible for a drug deal that ended with the death of a third man earlier this year.

According to investigators, a 17-year-old man and a 19-year-old man, both of Tampa, established a plan to purchase cannabis from a 20-year-old man at a South Tampa fast-food restaurant on July 20, intending to exchange counterfeit currency for the plant instead of actual legal tender.

The men were part of a quintet who met the alleged cannabis dealer, all arriving in the same vehicle. The dealer, who arrived with three other confederates, awaited the 19-year-old in his vehicle, where the transaction allegedly took place. The 19-year-old was almost back to the vehicle he arrived in before the cannabis dealer realized that the money he had been given was fake.

Per investigators, an argument ensued, escalating to violence in short order. Witnesses say the cannabis dealer attempted to grab back the bag he’d sold the 19-year-old, but he was unsuccessful. The 19-year-old then allegedly produced a firearm, while the 17-year-old did the same from within the vehicle.

Witnesses differ on what happened next, but investigators say the cannabis dealer’s life came to a violent end with a single gunshot to the chest. Investigators say the evidence points to the 19-year-old firing the fatal shot, but both men were indicted for the murder by a grand jury earlier this month.

The 19-year-old man was arrested upon turning himself in on Saturday. He was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on one charge each of uttering a forged bill, carrying a concealed firearm, and first-degree felony murder. He was released later in the week after posting a bond of $104,000.

The 17-year-old was also arrested upon turning himself in. He was booked into jail on a single count of third-degree murder, and he too was released after posting a bond of $100,000.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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