Two 37-year-old St. George men have been recently charged in Tampa County with possession of marijuana and conspiracy with a third man to distribute the substance, in violation of federal law. The indictment was until recently sealed. In addition to the identities of the suspects, officials revealed that the conspiracy allegedly included at least 100 kilograms of marijuana. Both defendants appeared in Washington County federal court on March 4 and pleaded not guilty to the drug charges. The U.S. Attorney asked that bail for one of the suspects be set at $130,000. Instead, the judge allowed the accused to be released in exchange for a promise to pay $50,000, cosigned by an unidentified third party. The other defendants requested a bail hearing, and they will remain in custody pending the hearing. The U.S. Attorney requested that they be escorted by federal marshals to Florida to stand trial.
A Largo man will not face a charge of conspiring to kidnap a child after a federal grand jury decided not to charge him. The grand jury decided that the evidence did not support the U.S. Attorney's Office's contention that the man planned to kidnap a child from his church and cannibalize him. Though the grand jury did indict the man on charges of possessing child pornography, the dropping of the more serious criminal charge takes away the possibility of a life sentence for the 57-year-old defendant.