Two Pasco County Traffickers Arrested
Tampa, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill and Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco announce today the unsealing of a federal indictment charging Gyasi Cline Heard, a/k/a "Legacy," (32, New Port Richey) and Christopher James Vasquez, a/k/a "LeeLee," (33, New Port Richey) with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 280 grams of cocaine base (commonly known as "crack" cocaine) and more than 5 kilograms of cocaine, as well as substantive drug charges relating to specific drug transactions involving cocaine and crack cocaine. Heard was also charged with knowingly carrying a firearm during and in relation to drug trafficking offenses, and possessing a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking offenses.
If convicted of the drug offenses, Heard and Vasquez each face a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. With respect to the firearms charge, Heard faces a mandatory minimum term of 5 years, up to a maximum term of life in federal prison, to be served consecutive to any drug conviction(s). The indictment also notifies Heard and Vasquez that the United States intends to forfeit any assets which are alleged to be traceable proceeds of the offenses or used to facilitate the offenses, as well as a money judgment in the amount of the proceeds traceable to the drug trafficking conspiracy.
Earlier today law enforcement officers executed four federal search warrants at locations used by Heard and Vasquez, including the tattoo business owned and operated by Heard, known as "Legacy Tattoo Company," located in Palm Harbor. Among the items seized during those searches were 49 firearms, including firearms equipped with silencers, jewelry, cash, vehicles, a motorcycle, and illegal narcotics.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, the New Port Richey Police Department, and the Tarpon Springs Police Department. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow.