Crime

This retirement home has lovely landscaping. And, cops say, a meth lab

Brian Vincent, who Hernando County Sheriff’s detectives believe ran a meth lab in a retirement community home’s garage.
Brian Vincent, who Hernando County Sheriff’s detectives believe ran a meth lab in a retirement community home’s garage.

A look at the website of Spring Hill’s Wellington at Seven Hills, an hour north of Tampa, shows exactly what you’d expect of a 55-and-over Florida community: suburban spaciousness interrupted by promenades, new houses, the suggestion of a golf course nearby.

But not a meth lab and 652 grams of liquid and crystal methamphetamine that the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office say they found in one of the homes on Saturday.

Hernando sheriff’s detectives didn’t believe the drugs were 89-year-old homeowner Lois Simpson’s contribution to Wednesday’s Ladies Christmas Luncheon, next Tuesday’s Line Dancing With Ginny or any other recreational gathering on the Wellington at Seven Hills calendar.

Rather, they wanted to find 34-year-old Brian Vincent, a relative of Simpson’s who the sheriff’s office says manufactured the meth.

Vincent was arrested by Hernando deputies Nov. 25 on petit theft charges. On Tuesday, he was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol on a grand theft auto charge. And now he faces the meth charges: possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a listed chemical, trafficking in meth and manufacturing meth with children present.

Sheriff’s deputies say “two young children were in the home” when a tip about a meth lab sent them to 11442 Deercroft Ct. Saturday. They claim Simpson gave them permission to search the home for a lab and they found meth lab chemicals in the garage.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

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