PUNTA GORDA, FL – Around 3 a.m. the morning of August 27th, deputies observed a silver Mercedes sedan speeding in the area of Shore Drive and Charlotte Street in Punta Gorda. The vehicle was seen pulling into a residence on Shore Drive which has been known for drug activity in the past.
When deputies activated their emergency lights to conduct the traffic stop, the driver was frantic and quickly put the vehicle in drive attempting to flee. Due to the layout of the property, with homes and structures being so close together and positioned next to the wood line, the driver, identified as Justin M. O’Neil, 34, could not maneuver the vehicle out of the way of deputies.
Deputies approached and requested O’Neil to exit the vehicle as the vehicle was still in drive. O’Neil was informed he was pulled over for speeding and asked to provide his identification. O’Neil refused to speak or acknowledge the presence of deputies. He was once again asked for his identification and again refused.
A free air sniff was conducted on the vehicle by K9 Lady Bird with positive response for narcotics. During a search of the vehicle, deputies located a black and white Nike backpack. Inside the smaller portion of the backpack, deputies located 10.7 grams of Methamphetamine inside a plastic baggie.
Inside the large portion of the backpack there was a transparent, navy waterproof container holding 5 additional baggies with a total weight of 376.8 grams of Methamphetamine.
Also inside the case contained 3 separate baggies for a total of sixty Oxycodone Hydrochloride pills. After further inspection of the pills it appeared that these were not standard pills that you would receive from a pharmacy. These pills were not fully round and crumbled into pieces. Narcotics users often utilize their own pill presses and often make pills that contain Heroin / Fentanyl. Deputies tested the pills, showing positive for Heroin / Fentanyl. The pills weighed a total of 6 grams.
These types of pills are particularly dangerous based on the fact that there is an unknown amount of substance that is pressed in each pill. This can make some pills extremely lethal.
Also inside the case contained 2 small baggies of Oxymorphone Hydrochloride pills, and another plastic baggie containing 3.4 grams of Fentanyl. The backpack also held a wallet containing the identification of Justin O’Neil.
Justin O’Neil was currently out on bond for previous drug charges throughout the surrounding counties. His most recent arrest includes July 3rd, 2020 in DeSoto County were he was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Tampering/Destruction of Evidence and Possession of Narcotics Paraphernalia in addition to being served with his DeSoto County arrest warrant for Failure to Appear. During this arrest, O’Neil was observed dumping a large baggie of narcotics out of the driver side window of the vehicle as he was driving, before pulling over.
Justin O’Neil is charged with the following:
- TRAFFICKING IN FENTANYL 4 GRAMS OR MORE
- Amphetamine – Trafficking More Than 14 Grams
- Heroin – Trafficking More 4 Grams Less 30 kg
- Possess Cntrl Sub WO Prescription
- Possess Cntrl Sub WO Prescription
- Drug Paraphernalia – Possession or Use Of
- Resisting Officer Without Violence
O’Neil was also issued a traffic warning for speeding.
Drug activity can be reported to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office at 941-639-0013 or by placing an anonymous tip via our mobile app. The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office is not only dedicated to removing illegal drugs off our streets, and putting dealers behind bars, but also addiction recovery. For more information on the Sheriff’s Drug Recovery Initiative, please contact 941-639-2101.