Justin Michael O’Neil, 36, of Arcadia, was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison followed by 20 years of probation. He was found guilty in June of Trafficking in Amphetamine – 200 grams or more, Trafficking in Illegal Drugs – 4 grams or more, and Transportation of Drug Paraphernalia, following a trial in Charlotte County. Today he was sentenced as a Habitual Felony Offender on all three counts. He was also ordered to pay $300,000 in fines.
In August 2020, a Corporal and Sergeant with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, saw a vehicle going over the speed limit in a residential area of Punta Gorda just after 2:30 a.m. The Mercedes SUV pulled into a driveway. Law enforcement activated their lights and siren to conduct a traffic stop. The driver, later identified as the defendant, put the vehicle in drive and pulled forward but had nowhere to go. Law enforcement approached the defendant and removed him from the vehicle.
He was advised that canine partner “Lady Bird,” trained to detect the odor of marijuana and controlled substances, would be conducting a free air sniff around the vehicle. The dog then alerted to drugs in the vehicle.
On the front passenger seat was a backpack with various baggies inside containing 363 grams of methamphetamine, and 6 grams of heroin. The defendant was then arrested.
Assistant State Attorney Scott Patterson and Assistant State Attorney Kristan Burns prosecuted the case.
Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office