After learning that two subjects with felony warrants may be in the Tampa area, Tampa Police officers began an investigation that led them to 2208 E. 15th Ave., where 37-year-old Martin Sequeira and 28-year-old Mary Vargas were residing.
On Tuesday evening (November 14), Sequeira answered the front door and was quickly detained after a brief struggle. A semi-automatic handgun was located sitting next to the front door, in immediate reach of Sequeria when he answered the door. Vargas was observed sitting on the couch and was detained as well. During a protective sweep of the residence pending a search warrant, officers located a large amount of suspected Psilocybin (“Shrooms”).
While conducting a court-authorized search warrant of the residence, the gun was found to be a 9mm semi-automatic handgun with multiple rounds in the magazine. Officers also located approximately 11 pounds of Psilocybin in vegetative and infused chocolate form. Packaging and items used to infuse the Psilocybin were also recovered, as well as already infused Psilocybin candy bars, located in the freezer. Stickers being used to advertise the selling of the Psilocybin in candy bar form were found which revealed an Instagram account and evidence showing the residence associated with the narcotics. Due to the large amount of narcotics being stored within this residence, and Sequeira and Vargas being the residents, it was evident they were keeping a public nuisance structure for drug activity, which is a felony.
“These narcotics are dangerous and have no place in our community,” said Chief Lee Bercaw. “Thanks to the outstanding efforts these officers dedicated to this investigation, the successful apprehension and arrest of two criminals has made our city safer, and illegally possessed guns and drugs are now off our streets.”
In addition, $11,000.00 in US currency was seized for forfeiture from the residence along with the defendant's vehicle, which was used in multiple offenses.
Martin Sequeira was arrested and charged with Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Resisting Officer Without Violence, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell/Deliver, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Keeping Public Nuisance Structure for Drug Activity, Felony Fleeing to Elude, Driving While License Canceled/Suspended, and out of county warrants from Polk County (Grand Theft, Petit Theft, and Conspiracy to Commit Retail Theft), Osceola County (Grand Theft x2), Sarasota County (DUI and Property Damage, Driving While License Canceled/Suspended/Revoked), and a warrant out of Georgia for Theft by Shoplifting.
Mary Vargas was arrested and charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell/Deliver, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Keeping a Public Nuisance Structure for Drug Activity, Retail Theft from Multiple Locations, and out of county warrants from Osceola County (Grand Theft x2) and Polk County (Grand Theft, Petit Theft, and Conspiracy to Commit Retail Theft), and a warrant out of Franklin County, Tennessee for Criminal Conspiracy.
They are both being held at Orient Road Jail.