CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — The Clay County Sheriff's Office said during the conclusion of a narcotics investigation, the operation led them to the discovery that Boost Mobile employees were selling narcotics during shifts at the Middleburg store.
Clay County Sheriff's Office holds briefing on drug bust:
Deputies say the Boost Mobile store located at 2684 Blanding Blvd. was used as a distribution center for heroin and methamphetamine.
The illegal drugs were sold during business hours to people acting as phone buyers, CCSO stated.
"Before the store would open, people would congregate outside. They would wait in line. If the store was a minute over the normal operating time, they would knock on front doors and back doors,“ Lt. Domenic Panicia, with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office, told Action News Jax.
Action News Jax reporter Meghan Moriarty spoke with one business owner in the area who said she always knew something was off. She said she would see men walking in and out of the store frequently with large backpacks.
Another man we spoke with frequents the shopping center for oil changes. He explained that he had no idea there were crimes happening inside the Boost Mobile franchise but that he isn’t surprised.
“This is a new breeding ground for crime as Clay County grows.” Carl Post said.
According to arrest reports, CCSO had an officer acting as an undercover agent. He was “setting up with deals with potential clients,” according to the documents.
Six client names were released to Action News Jax. We found that two of the men—Christopher Bushey and Nicholas Watkins—had criminal backgrounds. Watkins was previously charged with possession with intent to sell.
Action News Jax also dug deeper and found that the business is associated with Nimesh Patel, who is based out of Orlando. Patel owns cellphone stores all over Florida.
“I myself personally reached out over six times too,” Panicia said. “At this time though, I will say, we have nothing in our investigation that ties any management or owner to this operation.”
More than a dozen people were arrested during the operation Wednesday. There were also numerous drug seizures.
Cox Media Group