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Press Release

Federal Jury Convicts Auburndale Man Of Methamphetamine Trafficking Conspiracy

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

Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that a federal jury has found Thomas Kohler (58, Auburndale) guilty of conspiring to possess 500 grams or more of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute it. He faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for July 1, 2016.

According to evidence presented at trial, Kohler was part of a conspiracy involving the Isaias Villa drug trafficking organization to distribute high-purity methamphetamine in Polk County.  Isaias Villa received kilogram quantities of methamphetamine from the Atlanta area and then supplied it to dealers in Polk County.  From at least early 2015 through September 9, 2015, Kohler was involved with Isaias Villa in at least two of these trips to Georgia. He also conspired to collect approximately $82,000 in drug proceeds and, on September 8, 2015, delivered a kilogram of methamphetamine to a coconspirator.  

To date, the investigation has resulted in the federal convictions of five individuals and the seizure of approximately two kilograms of methamphetamine, more than $100,000 in U.S. currency, and homemade explosives.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dan Baeza.

Updated April 8, 2016

Drug Trafficking