A long-time drug dealer, 40-year-old Matthew Mullins of Homosassa, has been arrested for various drug trafficking charges.
According to deputies, on Thursday, January 19, 2023, detectives with the Citrus Country Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Tactical Impact Unit (TIU) made the arrest.
After observing a minor traffic violation, Detective Stephen Quinn of CCSO’s Community Impact Section attempted to conduct a traffic stop, in which Mullins began to flee from deputies in his vehicle. Mullins’ reckless behavior was short-lived as another CCSO deputy, Deputy Nick Erdman, was stationed only a short distance away at the intersection of CR 491 and West Cardinal Street, in Lecanto.
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As Mullins drove northbound through the intersection, a tire deflation device was successfully deployed by Deputy Erdman. Knowing his time was running out, Mullins threw a large baggie of what was later determined to be fentanyl out of the vehicle’s window.
After discarding the fentanyl and realizing his vehicle was inoperable, Mullins pulled his vehicle to the side of the road without further incident.
The bag of fentanyl thrown by Mullins ruptured when it hit the ground, resulting in some of the contents being scattered across the grass shoulder.
Due to the deadly substance now being airborne, members of CCSO’s TIU and the Citrus County Fire Service Hazmat Team, who are trained in Hazmat collection, responded to the scene to collect the fentanyl and decontaminated the area.
The fentanyl collected weighed in at approximately 51 grams, enough to kill approximately 25,500 people.
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A search of Mullins vehicle was conducted with deputies locating approximately 199.7 grams of methamphetamine. Mullins was also found to be in possession of alprazolam pills (Xanax) and approximately 0.65 grams of fentanyl on his person.
“The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office continues our commitment to combat illicit narcotics in our community. Mullins has a long history of selling narcotics and has actively fled deputies in the past to avoid arrest,” said Sheriff Mike Prendergast. “Today, he not only endangered the citizens of Citrus County with his reckless actions while fleeing, but he could have exposed citizens and law enforcement to the extremely fatal substance fentanyl. Thanks to the quick actions of the CCSO Tactical Impact Unit, Patrol Division and the Community Impact Section, Mullins was taken into custody before anyone was harmed.”
Mullins was arrested and charged with fleeing and eluding law enforcement, trafficking in methamphetamine, trafficking in fentanyl, possession of a controlled substance, possession of paraphernalia, and tampering with evidence. His bond was set at $113,000.