Pasco Co. cracking down on drug paraphernalia with massive fines

Two gas stations cited this week

LAND O' LAKES, Fla. - Pasco Deputies said they found a whole display case full of drug paraphernalia inside a Land O’ Lakes Sunoco station.

370 items in all.

“They had digital scales, grinders used to grind up marijuana, glass pipes, glass bongs,” said Corporal Chris Davila.

It was all on the front counter right next to the register.

But according to a Pasco County ordinance, businesses can’t sell drug paraphernalia without posting a sign saying no one under 18 is allowed in the store without a parent.

At $500 for each item fines can add up in a big way.

For the Sunoco the total was $185,000.

This comes a few days after a Citgo in Tribly was hit with more than $56,000 in violations for selling pipes. Pipes deputies said are used for smoking meth and crack.

“We don’t set the fine. Just like state law. We enforce state law. We don’t make it. We enforce county ordinance we don’t make it,” said Davila.

But not everyone agrees with enforcing the ordinance.

In fact, on the Sheriff’s Office’s own Facebook page, most of those leaving comments had something negative to say about the bust. Including: “What a waste of resources," "You don’t have actual criminals to arrest #wasteoftime" and "no victim, no crime."

There were a few supporters who wrote: ”shut them down” and “strong work guys.”

The Sheriff’s Office said they “won’t allow businesses to abuse our community and prey on the disease of addiction.”

Meanwhile, deputies said not only was the Sunoco selling all the paraphernalia, but they don’t even have a business license. 

Whether or not those massive fines will remain will be up to the State Attorney’s office.

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