According to a story in yesterday's St. Pete Times, "[a] year-long drug investigation led to the seizure of more than $1.5 million in cash and Monday's arrest of a 28-year-old man on Federal Drug Charges."
Details from a Federal arrest warrant showed how Cocaine was shipped from Mexico and distributed through St. Petersburg's neighborhoods by top members of "8-Hype," a local criminal street gang based in the Harbordale section of St. Petersburg.
The suspect named in the Federal arrest warrant, Justin Levine Richardson, was arrested on a Federal charge of Conspiring to Distribute Cocaine. What makes this story interesting is that Narcotics detectives said they found $1,008,720 inside Richardson's mom's car.
According to the St. Pete Times, "Richardson has been well known to narcotics detectives for years. In 2004, the St. Petersburg man was arrested in Texas for shipping drugs through the mail. He was sentenced to five (5) years in a Federal prison and was still on Felony Probation for that crime when he was arrested Monday."
Richardson's arrest was part of a joint operation between the St. Petersburg Police Department (SPPD) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). According to authorities, they tracked down witnesses who said Richardson supplied them with Cocaine; tracked him as he allegedly transported a large black duffel bag containing $277,585 to a drug "stash house"; and discovered a courier who crossed the U.S.-Mexican border 176 times since 2008 (you'd think, if anything, the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection and/or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would find 176 border crossings, between the United States and Mexico, in less than two (2) years at least suspicious?).
Yesterday, Richardson, of 500 Trinity Lane in St. Pete, was arrested by the U.S. Marshals. He is currently being held, without bond, in the Pinellas County Jail on a "courtesy hold" for the U.S. Marshals.