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Saturday, Mar 28, 2015

Hernando SWAT team raids father-son drug operation, deputies say

Tribune Staff


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BROOKSVILLE — A father-and-son drug operation was shut down Wednesday morning after SWAT teams raided a mobile home compound on Wiscon Road, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said.

The Citrus County Sheriff’s office participated in the operation that resulted in the arrests of Howard Lee Holland Jr. and Howard Lee Holland Sr., both convicted felons.

Both men were booked into the Hernando County Jail on Wednesday and released hours later, after posting bail.

The Hernando Sheriff’s Vice and Narcotics units executed a search warrant at the Wiscon Road property, which included three mobile homes and several other buildings, around 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, a sheriff’s report said.

Law enforcement had investigated drug trafficking on the property for months, the report said.

Detectives found 3.5 grams of crack cocaine, 123 oxycodone pills, scales, plastic baggies with cocaine residue, $660 in cash and a .22-caliber handgun.

There were surveillance cameras throughout the property, a warning sensor at the front gate and six dogs positioned around the property, the report said.

Holland Jr., 29, was located in one of the mobile homes on Wiscon Road. He was charged with sale and possession of cocaine, and sale and possession of crack cocaine, the report said.

Detectives found Holland Sr., 51, several miles away at an address on Oakdale Avenue, the report said.

Holland Sr. was arrested on two warrants and charged with sale and possession of cocaine, two counts of sale and possession of crack cocaine, and two counts of possession of a structure for the purpose of selling or manufacturing a controlled substance, the report said.

Holland Sr. had a cash belt containing $5,250, which was seized by detectives, the report said.

The report said that Hernando sheriff’s deputies had conducted drug-related searches at the property in 2002, when six people there were arrested on drug charges, and in 2005, when eight people, including the Hollands, were arrested on drug and weapons charges.

In the 2002 bust, James William Holland Jr., was arrested and charged with sale and possession of crack cocaine. James Holland is currently incarcerated at Gulf Correctional Institute on cocaine-related charges, the report said.

Dogs found at the property Wednesday morning appeared to be malnourished and emaciated, and most of them were chained to trees without food, water or shelter, the report said.

Animal Services officers removed each dog, as well as five kittens and 11 chickens, the report said.

Hernando Building Department and Code Enforcement were called to inspect the mobile homes and other buildings, which were condemned, the report said.

Holland Sr.’s criminal history includes homicide, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence and cocaine charges, the report said.

Holland Jr.’s criminal history includes robbery, possession of a weapon or ammunition by a convicted felon, possession of cocaine and fleeing to elude law enforcement at high speed, the report said.

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