CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - Charlotte County Sheriff's Narcotics Unit detectives shut down a marijuana distribution operation and arrested the mother, two sons and a girlfriend. Detectives received a tip and began a multi-unit investigation last month that resulted in the raid Thursday afternoon at 2419 Sunshine Blvd., Punta Gorda. Nearly a half pound of marijuana was seized along with nearly $26,000 cash.
A search warrant was signed and detectives, assisted by the Street Crimes Unit, entered the home and met with 48 year old Linda Ann DeRoche. Also in the home was her two sons, a 16-year-old, Patrick Charles DeRoche, 19, and his girlfriend Megan Marie Shillito, 19; all who live in the home. Upon entering, detectives smelled a strong odor of burnt marijuana.
A search located two small safes, a quantity of bagged marijuana, numerous plastic baggies, pipes, several weighting scales and a large amount of marijuana roaches. In the safes detectives found $25,467 in cash. Patrick DeRoche's wallet contained $225 cash, plus one counterfeit $20 bill and two counterfeit $5 bills. A notebook was seized showing information about various drug sales.
All four were transported to the Charlotte County Jail; the adults posted bond and the juvenile was released with 21 days home detention. Patrick DeRoche and Megan Shillito were both charged with Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana over 20 Grams, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The minor was charged with Violation of Probation, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. The mother, Linda DeRoche, was charged with Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
This is Patrick DeRoche's 13th booking with 26 records; Thomas DeRoche has seven bookings and 14 records. If anyone has information about illegal drug activity, please call the CCSO Narcotics Unit at 941-575-2157, or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).