Sarasota police: Suspect was running major marijuana operation

May 6, 2013 

SARASOTA -- Sarasota police say narcotics investigators have broken up a major marijuana dealing operation in the city, according to a news release.

"Operation Hammerhead began in September 2012, as an anonymous complaint of drug sales in area nightclubs by the target, Anthony Snead." a news release states. Detectives began gathering intelligence and conducting surveillance to validate the complaint and quickly discovered the case may be larger than originally suspected."

Through their six-month investigation, which included wiretapping Snead's telephone, detectives determined Snead was involved in "a large scale marijuana sales operation" based out of his residence in the 600 block of Audubon Place, police said.

"On April 23, 2013, detectives were able to intercept the delivery of five pounds of marijuana to the residence of Anthony Snead and executed a search warrant on his residence. Detectives recovered the five pound delivery, packaged in vacuum sealed bags from previous deliveries," the release states.

Detectives were able to determine that Snead had been receiving five-pound packages of "high grade" marijuana for about once a week for the past couple of years, paying about $5,000 per pound -- or a total of up to $1 million a year -- and then re-selling it in small amounts for a higher rate of profit, police said.

Snead, 66, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell. A second suspect, Andy M. Charlton, 38, was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell and transportation of drug paraphernalia, police said.

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