Deputies assigned to the Patrol Operations Bureau have arrested two brothers on firearm and drug charges.
According to investigators, patrol deputies were dispatched to the Holiday Inn Express in Oldsmar after several guests complained of a strong odor of marijuana on their floor.
Deputies knocked on the door where the odor was coming from and met with 19-year-old Antonio and Mason Aponte. Deputies noticed the odor was very strong when the door opened. Mason allowed deputies to enter the room to show them he only had a small bag of marijuana in the room.
In plain-view, deputies observed several pounds of marijuana packaged individually, more than 100 suspected THC oil cartridges, smoking pipes, one AR-15 rifle, and six handguns. One of the handguns was stolen.
Deputies, in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office, obtained a search warrant for the room and conducted an in-depth search. Investigators uncovered an AK-47-style rifle, several more pounds of marijuana and an M12 distraction device. Also inside the room was $36,415 packaged with rubber bands in various denominations.
The suspects did not provide a statement to investigators and were transported to the Pinellas County Jail.
In total there were six pistols, one AR-15, one AK-47, 67 pounds of marijuana, 82.5 doses of Alprazolam and 363 suspected THC oil cartridges were taken as evidence from the hotel room.
Through various investigative leads, detectives identified a storage unit connected to the suspects and obtained consent to search it. Inside they discovered an additional $103,468. The money totaled out to $139,883 which was seized under the Florida Contraband Forfeiture Act.
They have been charged with Armed Trafficking in Cannabis, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Grand Theft (Firearm), Possession of THC Oil and Possession of Alprazolam.
The investigation continues.