Five people were arrested after multiple undercover drug purchases and a search warrant was served at a Sarasota home, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.
The investigation began in the fall after detectives learned a man was selling “significant quantities” of meth near Myrtle Street and Lockwood Ridge Road.
In total, undercover detectives made six purchases through 37-year-old Shane Matz. For four of those purchases, the drugs were provided through one of Matz’s acquaintances.
Four other people, in addition to Matz, were arrested in connection with the sales.
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- Matz faces two counts of sale of meth, four counts of principal sale of meth, one count of possession of meth with intent to distribute and one count of possession of ammunition by a convicted felon;
- Kathrine Hallock, 37, Matz’z girlfriend, faces charges of sale of meth, possession of meth with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana;
- Rebecca Hodges, 35, faces charges of possession of meth and sale of meth;
- Donald Mann, 59, faces one count of sale of meth;
- Jennifer Holmes, 46, is facing one count of sale of meth.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the undercover purchases were arranged through Matz each time, but the detective was met by Mann on Oct. 31, Holmes on Nov. 13, Hallock on Nov. 20 and Hodges on Nov. 26 for the transactions.
Matz met the detective for purchases on Nov. 15 and Nov. 28.
Three of the purchases were made at Matz’s home in the 3100 block of Myrtle Street, while the others were at a gas station on Lockwood Ridge Road, according to the affidavit.
In total, the undercover detective purchased approximately 5.4 grams of meth through Matz and his associates.
When Matz met the detective at the gas station on Nov. 15, he told the detective, “I’ll never screw you, I’ll never rip you off. If something is wrong I’ll make it right,” according to the affidavit.
On Wednesday, a search warrant was executed on Matz’s home. Investigators reported finding more than a gram of meth, marijuana and ammunition.
Detectives believe someone tried to flush additional items after they found a pipe in a toilet. Water from the toilet was collected for testing along with 7 grams of an “unknown crystallized substance.”
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.
“While opioid use, abuse and addiction has been the prominent drug issue for years, we are now seeing the shift to methamphetamine,” Sheriff Tom Knight said in a news release. “This drug is cheaper and purer which is overshadowing opioids such as heroin.
“Right now it’s important the community knows we will continue to pursue those who prey on people with addictions and hold those drug dealers accountable.”