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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Florida

Friday, January 22, 2021

Santa Rosa County Traffic Stop Results In 10 Year Prison Sentence On Heroin And Methamphetamine Charge

PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Carlos Linares of Pompano Beach, Florida, has been sentenced to serve 10 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute over 500 grams of methamphetamine and over 100 grams of heroin. Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the sentence, which was handed down on January 15, 2021.

“As this case clearly demonstrates, drug traffickers who haul their poison through this district will be caught, prosecuted, and punished,” U.S. Attorney Keefe said. “Even a single vehicle can carry a significant amount of deadly cargo. Federal, state, and local law enforcement will continue working diligently to identify and intercept these shipments of dangerous drugs before they reach our communities.”  

Linares, 27, was stopped on July 30, 2020, by the Florida Highway Patrol while traveling east on Interstate 10 in Santa Rosa County. During the traffic stop, a canine alerted to the presence of narcotics inside Linares’ vehicle. When troopers looked inside the vehicle, they discovered over 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) of heroin and 961 grams (2.1 pounds) of methamphetamine. In addition, troopers seized four cellular telephones, a digital scale, and a GPS tracking device that was hidden beneath the steering column. The investigation revealed that Linares was delivering the drugs from Texas to central Florida, and it is believed that his handlers were using the hidden GPS tracking device to track his movements and confirm the delivery of the drugs.   

The sentencing resulted from a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Florida Highway Patrol, and the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney J. Ryan Love.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that serve as the nation’s principal litigators under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information about the United States Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida, visit

Press Release - U.S. v. Linares

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Florida (850) 216-3829
Updated January 22, 2021