The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team completed a drug bust Wednesday after the landlord of Avalon Square Apartments told the sheriff’s office she believed tenants were dealing drugs.
Investigators first began an undercover narcotics investigation into the dealings of Romario Reid, who was arrested Wednesday, at the end of September. Over the course of a week, an undercover agent bought $60 worth of heroin from Reid, 20, three separate times, according to the sheriff’s office.
All three heroin purchases tested positive for fentanyl, according to the sheriff’s office.
After the undercover deputy made these purchases, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office received an email on Sept. 28 from the property manager of the complex alleging that she suspected the tenants inside of Reid’s apartments were dealing drugs. She based her accusation on the amount of foot traffic the apartment got and the very little amount of time visitors typically spent inside.
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The landlord stated she was in the process of getting Reid evicted. Later that day, the narcotics agent attempted another purchase of heroin, but Reid insisted that if he was going to keep selling to the deputy, he would need to use the heroin right in front of him.
If he didn’t, the deputy might as well lose his number, Reid said. The deputy refused and left, according to arrest reports.
A search warrant for Reid’s apartment was obtained and the SWAT team conducted a search on Wednesday. Officers found numerous items consistent with the illegal sale of drugs, including a digital scale, 2.7 grams of rock cocaine, multiple small yellow baggies containing fentanyl and nearly $2,000 in cash.
Reid, who shares the lease with his brother, was present at the time of the search and taken into custody. Reid’s brother was not present and has not been arrested.
Another subject fled the scene but was apprehended by the K9 unit. The vehicle that the 19-year-old used to escape contained 5.4 grams of marijuana, 19.2 grams of fentanyl and $1,000 in cash, detectives say.
Reid is charged with possession of a structure for the sale of controlled substances and is currently being held on a $15,000 bond. However, a hold has been placed on his arrest to keep him in jail.