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Informant in FDLE case against former Port Richey mayor dies in jail of drug overdose

Pasco County

Documents from the F.D.L.E. outline a case of drug use and practicing medicine without a license by former Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad.

Informants told investigators Massad used several people to buy drugs for him on a regular basis claiming Massad used crystal meth and smoked up to $100 a day in crack cocaine.

The investigation by the F.D.L.E. shows Massad also handed out prescription medication from his home to a number of people. Massad ordered the medication from an online company even though he no longer has a license to practice medicine.

Port Richey Police Chief Gerard DeCanio says there were many rumors in town about Massad’s drug use.

“You know it was rumor. If you said something about the mayor, everybody would say we all knew that, but we never had anybody that would come forward and get involved in the criminal case,” said DeCanio.

Months ago, two informants did come to the Port Richey Police department and made allegations about Massad.

“Those are the two individuals that came forward to me and that’s when I brought them into the police department in Port Richey and sat with the city attorney and the city manager and collectively we decided the best thing would be to hand it over to F.D.L.E.,” said DeCanio. F.D.L.E. Investigators talked to several people known to live with Massad.

DeCanio says he and others warned the former mayor about his associates long before the investigation began.

“We had advised him to change his friends and get some of those people out of his house. There was a revolving door in his house,” said DeCanio.

DeCanio says one of the informants in the case recently died in a Pasco County jail from a drug overdose.

“Unfortunately Colton McKinley had passed away in a Pasco County jail of an overdose. We knew that he was a drug user and he was allegedly one of the people that was picking the drugs up for the mayor,” said DeCanio.

Massad and several of his friends have accused the Port Richey police department of coming after the mayor because he was in favor of dissolving the police department.

DeCanio says that’s just not true, and points out he turned over the investigation to the F.D.L.E. to avoid any perception of impropriety. DeCanio admits his opinion of the mayor did change after the Pasco County SWAT team moved into arresting him on a warrant as a result of the F.D.L.E. Investigation.

Massad is now charged with attempted murder of law enforcement officers because he shot at them as they entered his home during the arrest.

“When I heard there were shots fired call over the radio and when I found out the mayor initiated the shots fired, I lost all respect for him and that’s it,” said DeCanio.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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