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Posted on: September 20, 2019

It's six-plus years behind bars for Key West drug dealer

This is Christopher Garcia

KEY WEST, September 20, 2019 – A Key West drug dealer has been sentenced to Florida State Prison after settling five criminal cases against him.

On September 12, Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Mark Jones handed Christopher Garcia, 36, a sentence of 75 months, or just over six years, behind bars for violating probation imposed in two criminal cases, and 58 months in prison in three other cases. The sentences are to be served concurrently and will be followed by 60 months of administrative probation. Assistant State Attorney Christine Poist represented the state.

One of the most recent cases stems from April 27, 2017. About 11 p.m. that night, a Key West police officer saw Garcia riding a bicycle with no lights on it on White Street. The officer activated his emergency lights and siren while attempting to initiate a traffic stop. Garcia “looked back at us acknowledging we were attempting to stop him” but rode away “at a fairly fast rate of speed.”

After a short pursuit, Garcia was apprehended on Ashe Street but not before he had tossed a package into a yard. Police retrieved it and it contained suspected narcotics. Garcia pleaded no contest to tampering with evidence and fleeing and eluding police.

Another case is from February 10, 2017, when Key West police set up a controlled narcotics purchase with Garcia using an undercover informant. The informant texted Garcia that he wanted to purchase heroin and Garcia agreed to the transaction. While being recorded, the two met on Havana Lane and Garcia sold the informant 0.6 grams of heroin for $160. Garcia pleaded no contest to sale of heroin and unlawful use of a two-way electronics device.

Eleven days later, on February 21, 2017, Key West police set up another drug purchase with Garcia, again using a confidential informant. While being recorded in a telephone call, Garcia agreed to sell the informant heroin for $120 and the two met at White Street and Olivia Street and completed the transaction. Garcia pleaded no contest to sale of heroin and unlawful use of a two-way electronics device in this case, as well.

Garcia’s probation violations are from two 2014 drug cases.

On April 29, 2014, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office set up a controlled narcotics purchase using a confidential informant. The informant, while being recorded, called Garcia to purchase Oxycodone, a controlled substance. The two met at Flagler Avenue and 19th Street in Key West and completed the transaction for $40.

The following day, the Sheriff’s Office set up another controlled drug buy using a confidential informant who was being recorded. The informant called Garcia to set up the transaction and the two met at a residence on 3rd Avenue on Stock Island, where the informant purchased Oxycodone for $40.

In both of those cases, Garcia pleaded guilty to sale of a controlled substance and unlawful use of a two-way electronics device and was given 21 months in prison followed by 24 months of probation. He violated terms of probation by, among other things, getting arrested while on probation, failing urinalysis tests for illegal drugs and failing to report to his probation officer.

Garcia has served two previous terms in prison for possession of a controlled substance and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. His most recent release was in 2016.

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