A federal judge sentenced a Florida man to 12 years in prison on June 12 for distributing methamphetamine in the Pasco County area, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. The 38-year-old Port Richie resident was taken into custody in February 2019 after police executed a search warrant at his home. Angelo Salvarezza pleaded guilty to possessing 50 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and possessing a firearm.
The man’s activities were investigated by the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Agents and deputies gathered evidence against the man by sending a confidential source to his home to purchase drugs. The man is said to have sold the source 4 ounces of methamphetamine for $2,400 over the course of three visits. This provided investigators with the evidence they needed to obtain a search warrant.
During a search of the man’s bedroom, deputies and agents claim to have found 152 grams of methamphetamine, three handguns, ammunition and $6,367 in U.S. currency. Items of drug paraphernalia were also seized according to the U.S. attorney’s press release. The investigation was part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods initiative organized by the Department of Justice.
Narcotics cases like this one are usually settled with plea agreements because federal drug charges carry severe penalties and U.S. attorneys tend to only take action when they have compelling evidence. During plea negotiations, experienced criminal defense attorneys may argue for more lenient treatment by pointing out factors that may mitigate their client’s actions and paint them in a more positive light. Such mitigating factors could include the support of family members, gainful employment and genuine remorse.