NewsPasco County


FDLE: Former Port Richey mayor hired drug runners, used crack cocaine nightly

Former mayor chronic drug user, report shows
Posted at 10:40 PM, Apr 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-11 23:37:04-04

PORT RICHEY, Fla. -- Newly released documents from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement paint a picture of an out-of-control mayor abusing the public office.

The 189-page record's release chronicles how and why law enforcement began investigating former Port Richey mayor Dale Massad.

The documents state the city manager, Vincent R. Lupo, contacted the FDLE on August 15, 2018 “regarding possible public corruption, drug use and/or distribution, unlicensed medical procedures and domestic battery involving the Port Richey Mayor, Dale G. Massad.”

On February 21, Massad was arrested at his Port Richey home for practicing medicine without a license. During the raid, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said Massad fired at his deputies.

Massad’s attorneys told ABC Action News Massad didn’t know they were law enforcement.


The report states investigators had Massad’s home under surveillance and were getting information from people close to Massad.

“Massad liked to smoke crack cocaine on a nightly basis,” the man identified as Corey White told investigators. “During the time that he lived at the apartment, he saw very few nights that Massad skipped smoking crack."

White also told police, “Massad and some of his acquaintances like crystal methamphetamine which they commonly refer to as "jet fuel."

White stated that he has seen Massad in possession of the drug in crystal form and seen him ingest by inhalation as well as consume it orally after crushing it. White declared that Massad is "normally generous and has offered to share.”

Investigators also released a jailhouse phone recording between Massad and the then acting mayor Terrence Rowe.

“You know what my charges are right five counts of premeditated homicide [laughs],” Massad told Rowe in the phone conversation. “We get persecuted for trying to help people.”

Massad called Rowe from the Pasco County jail where he is currently held with no bond.

Days after that conversation, Rowe was arrested for obstruction of justice and conspiracy. Gov. Ron DeSantis suspending Rowe as well. In the phone conversation, Rowe tells Massad he is going to find out whoever ratted out Massad.

"This don’t go down without somebody, been joking about that the old movie Godfather; somebody gotta answer for you, know I want to know this doesn’t go down without somebody answering for it,” Rowe said.

Massad tells Rowe to keep up the good work.

“Keep on keeping on,” Massad said. “I heard you are taking control of some things and be careful they will throw you under the mother f***ing bus. I’m just glad you aren’t as flamboyant as I am.”

We reached out to Massad’s defense team which he described as “the dream team, I guess, I paid $350,000 for those attorneys.”

ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska asked for a comment on the recent drug use accusations outlined in the report.

“That allegation is false and can be proven false just like the police saying the warning shots he fired to stop what was perceived to be intruders on the night of the arrest was false,” Denis deVlaming said in an emailed statement.