Progress Village Area Crack Dealer Found Guilty
Tampa, FL - A federal jury today found Anton Shayron Hernandez (30, Tampa) guilty of one count of possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, one count of distribution of crack cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute 28 grams or more of crack cocaine. Because of his prior record, Hernandez faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. Between 2001 and 2007, Hernandez had eight prior state felony cocaine-related convictions, most involving distribution. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for December 3, 2012.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, on September 6, 2009, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office (HCSO) executed a search warrant on a mobile home in Gibsonton, Florida. During the ensuing investigation at the residence, Hernandez came to the location with the intent of selling cocaine to the home owner. As Hernandez knocked on the door, he was arrested by deputies and the cocaine was seized.
Approximately two months later, on December 21, 2009, an HCSO undercover detective purchased just under an ounce of crack cocaine from Hernandez at a gas station. Following the transaction, Hernandez became a fugitive for almost two years.
In August 2011, deputies learned that Hernandez was rumored to be back in the Progress Village area. Deputies went to the area to execute an outstanding warrant. Deputies observed Hernandez arriving at a gas station, and manipulating a black pouch on the floor board of his vehicle, as he opened the driver's side door. Hernandez was arrested as he exited the vehicle to enter the store. Deputies retrieved the black bag from the car. It contained a freshly cooked "cookie" of crack cocaine, weighing 36.1 grams.
This case was investigated by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas N. Palermo.