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Press Release

Clearwater Man Pleads Guilty To Distributing Methamphetamine

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Florida

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Justin Roberson (34, Clearwater) today pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine. Roberson faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

According to the facts presented at the change of plea hearing, in 2021, DEA agents in Tampa, partnering with law enforcement officers from the Clearwater Police Department (CPD), initiated an investigation into the distribution of methamphetamine within the Middle District of Florida. Agents received information that Roberson was distributing methamphetamine in Clearwater.

On September 15, 2021, Roberson called a confidential source (CS) working with law enforcement and said that he (Roberson) had “a lot” of methamphetamine and was selling it “by the pound.” Through coded conversation, Roberson and the CS agreed to meet at a business associated with Roberson, on North Meteor Avenue in Clearwater, to complete the purchase of the methamphetamine. During the drug transaction, Roberson sold four individual plastic baggies, each containing a crystallized substance inside. The substance obtained from Roberson was later analyzed by the DEA and found to be approximately 893 grams (1.96 pounds) of methamphetamine hydrochloride, a controlled substance.

On July 8, 2022, agents executed a federal search warrant at the North Meteor Avenue location and located a fully loaded AR-15 rifle, ammunition, a kilogram of cocaine, numerous pills—including more than 579 grams of MDMA, a quantity of marijuana, digital scales, baggies, a currency counter, and cash. On that same date, agents also conducted a consent search of Roberson’s residence and located an AK-47 rifle, additional rifle magazines, a Glock handgun, several AR-15 style rifles, and more cash.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

This case was investigated by Drug Enforcement Administration and the Clearwater Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Craig Gestring.

Updated September 21, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses