CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Almost $1 million in drugs were seized during the largest drug bust in Citrus County Sheriff’s Office history on Friday.
In a press conference held Tuesday, Sheriff Mike Prendergast announced the arrest of Daniel Battisti, 33.
According to Prendergast, Florida Department of Corrections probation officers visited Battisti’s home in Beverly Hills as part of a routine probation check.
Probation officers told the sheriff’s office Tactical Impact Unit that they were suspicious of illegal activity, so detectives were standing by as officers entered the home.
After probation officers discovered drugs, detectives obtained a search warrant, also entered the home and found the following:
- 100.2 grams of cocaine
- 691 tablets of prescription drug cyclobenzaprine
- 89 tablets or prescription drug tizanidine
- 60 pills of MDMA/Molly
- 1,960 grams of leaf cannabis
- 30.1 pounds of cannabis wax
Sheriff Prendergast called the drugs “a threat to the community that was one of the most significant we’ve seen in the Tampa Bay region for a very long time.”
As for Battisti?
“I would place him at the highest level of drug dealers that we’ve encountered during my tenure as the Citrus County Sheriff,” the sheriff said.
Collectively, the street value of the drugs is estimated to be $970,000.
Prendergast said the county is on a record pace this year to “outstrip any drug seizures they’ve ever done in the county.”
“A lot of these drugs that we’re facing here are of course coming across the border between the United States and Mexico and they’re working their way all the way over here to Florida,” Prendergast said.
Battisti is on parole for grand theft from the state of New York.
He is facing a slew of charges, including possession of place to manufacture a controlled substance when a minor is present or resides there. The sheriff’s office said an 11-year-old was present in the home.
He is facing a total of 141 years in prison.