Accused St. Petersburg drug dealers received SBA loans to support business

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Detectives with the St. Petersburg Police Division are within the midst of a significant drug trafficking investigation and have made 30-arrests up to now.

Many of the arrests are drug-related, however in keeping with police, a handful of the sellers have been utilizing your tax {dollars} to fund their operation.

Police arrested 21-year previous Dante Payne on Monday. He’s dealing with quite a few drug prices and one rely of defrauding a monetary establishment.

In accordance with the arrest report, he filed paperwork with the federal government claiming he owned “Brother’s Landscaping Co.” He acknowledged the corporate grossed $128,800 in 2020 and he acquired $20,832 to cowl payroll and enterprise overhead prices.

Yolanda Fernandez with the St. Petersburg Police Division explains the lads acquired authorities assist for companies they didn’t personal and for workers they didn’t make use of.

“One of many causes they have been in a position to fund their operation was as a result of they have been utilizing these loans from the federal government that that they had acquired fraudulently,” mentioned Yolanda Fernandez with the St. Petersburg Police Division. “And so they have been getting substantial quantities of cash. Supposedly to assist these workers that they didn’t have for these companies that they didn’t function. “

Russell Jones can be accused of receiving SBA loans. Police arrested him on Nov. 8. In accordance with the arrest report he claimed he owned a barber store that grossed $45,681 in 2020. The paperwork signifies he acquired $9,516 from the federal government to cowl payroll and enterprise overhead prices.

Police arrested Kenneth Davis on Nov. 9. The arrest report doesn’t point out the kind of enterprise he claimed to personal, but it surely did say in 2020 the unnamed enterprise grossed $105,900 in 2020 and he acquired $20,832 from the federal government.

Marlon Santiago calls it disgusting. He owns an operates a authorized hemp nursery in Pasco County. He has had one heck of a time getting SBA loans.

“They’ve simply been jerking me round,” mentioned Santiago. “I really obtained an e mail from them yesterday acknowledging that the issue is on their finish.”

Santiago was dumbfounded when he realized accused criminals have been receiving authorities assist.

“Individuals like myself are nonetheless struggling to get the cash that we must be getting,” mentioned Santiago. “And also you’ve obtained guys who’re doing the flawed method getting cash hand over fist.”

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