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Man wanted on drug charges found with guns, cash

Tony Holt Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 06:35 PM

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John Spooner had packed his bags Friday and was about to load them into his car.

Hernando County Sheriff's detectives, who had learned Spooner was staying in a hotel along U.S. 19, arrested him and his companion before they had a chance to get away.

Spooner had outstanding warrants from Hernando and Hillsborough counties. He was wanted in Hernando on charges of sale and possession of methamphetamine and conspiracy to sell methamphetamine and wanted in Hillsborough on a charge of violation of probation.

In a media release, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis referred to Spooner as a "thug" who was "well-armed" and dangerous.

Detectives said they searched his bags outside the Hampton Inn and discovered methamphetamine, hydromorphine – a derivative of morphine, drug paraphernalia, two loaded handguns and $9,922 in cash.

His companion, Brandi Maley, 26, also was found with drugs and was jailed on a possession charge, according to the sheriff's office.

After Spooner and Maley were arrested, a search warrant was executed at Spooner's apartment at 212 Broad St., located in the Mary Ann Apartments in Masaryktown.

Deputies said Spooner had been selling methamphetamine out of his home.

Detectives with the vice and narcotics unit discovered drugs, four handguns, two short-barreled shotguns, one rifle, one bulletproof vest and several items of drug paraphernalia inside Spooner's apartment, according to a media release.

Patricia Manley, 22, was found in the apartment during the search and was arrested. She was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

"This individual was deeply involved in the lifestyle that accompanies drug dealing," Nienhuis said. "This lifestyle often leads dealers to us, or be in fear of, violence. Mr. Spooner was a perfect example."

In all, Spooner was charged with four counts of possession of methamphetamine, four counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of sale of methamphetamine, two counts of possession of a short-barreled shotgun, two counts of violation of a domestic violence injunction, and one count each of oxycodone trafficking, conspiracy to sell methamphetamine and possession of hydromorphine.

He was jailed without bond. (352) 544-5283

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