Search Warrant Reveals Animal Neglect and Methamphetamine

Spring Hill — On 08-28-15, just before 10 a.m., detectives with the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Vice and Narcotics Unit, assisted by members of the K-9 Unit and Patrol Deputies, executed a search warrant at 5203 Deltona Boulevard in Spring Hill.

Search Warrant Reveals Animal Neglect and Methamphetamine

The search warrant was a result of a lengthy narcotics investigation that included two undercover purchases of methamphetamine from persons at the residence. The residence is located approximately 1,005 feet from Fox Chapel Middle School (9412 Fox Chapel Lane). A concern for detectives was that students were walking to and from school, in front of this residence where persons were dealing illegal drugs.

Arrest warrants were obtained for Joao Martins for Sale and Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of a Structure for the Sale of Controlled Substance, Possession of Paraphernalia, and Unlawful Use of Two Way Communication Device.

Upon arrival, detectives observed two dogs on the property. One of the dogs was in obvious distress, suffering from severe neglect.

The dog, a small white unknown breed, had numerous sores on its jawline, causing the dog’s lower jaw to deteriorate. The dog’s eyes appeared to be severely infected as well. Both eyes had a large amount of green discharge oozing from them. Making matters worse, the dog was unable to walk properly. All of the dog’s toe nails had grown so long they were curled completely under the dog’s feet. The dog was removed by an Animal Enforcement Officer and taken to Hernando County Animal Services for evaluation.

Drug offenses are clearly not victimless crimes. This family pet is proof of that.

The other dog appeared to be in good health and was left on scene with the owner.

A search of the residence revealed the following:

– 5.15 grams of marijuana
– 3.1 grams of methamphetamine
– 4.35 grams of unidentified white powdery substance (to be sent for testing)
– Numerous glass smoking pipes with methamphetamine residue
– Numerous small baggies with methamphetamine residue
– Six baggies containing methamphetamine packaged for distribution.

The persons at the location were charged as follows:

– Joao Martins W/M DOB/12-01-1951
o Possession of Methamphetamine w/Intent to Distribute
o Possession of Paraphernalia
o Bond – $26,000 (including arrest warrants)

– Pierre Martins W/M 05-29-1974
o Possession of Paraphernalia (2 counts)
o Bond – $2,000

– Melissa Martins W/F DOB/07-25-1979
o Obstructing Law Enforcement While Serving a Search Warrant
o Bond – $500.

Detectives are working closely with the State Attorney’s Office regarding charges on the owner of the animal that was severely neglected. Charges are forthcoming on Emily Martins W/F DOB/10-26-1945.

Detectives received a positive reaction from neighbors in the area. They were pleased that drug dealing in their neighborhood and around the school will cease.

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