Florida men who wanted to purchase several pounds of marijuana in Thomas County found someone eager to do business.

The individuals unknowingly set up the drug deal with undercover personnel.

The would-be transaction climaxed about 6 p.m. Friday, when buyers met sellers to close the deal.

The Florida men were ready to pay $3,200 to $4,000 a pound for the weed when the deal went down at the designated meeting site on U.S. 19 South.

“We set up a location for them to meet us,” said Kevin Lee, narcotics/vice commander.

The first vehicle to arrive at U.S. 19’s intersection with New Hope Road was a Ford F-150 driven by Blake Coatney, 31, 2401 Stanford Road, Apartment 401, Panama City, Fla., with passenger Michael West Ross, 30, 608 Arrow St., Panama City, followed a few seconds later by a Chevrolet Trailblazer.

Two Thomas County/Thomasville Narcotics/Vice Division agents’ vehicles were parked nearby. Two other agents wearing camouflage clothing were watching the activity from nearby woods.

When narcotics agents approached Ross, they found $13,433 — in 100s, 50s and 20s — on his person.

Coatney had $263 on his person.

John Blaine Henderson, 58, 594 Frank Lacy Road, Monticello, Fla., was driving the F-150.

“He unknowingly set up the deal between undercover personnel and the Panama City suspects,” Lee explained.

All three suspects are charged with criminal attempt to possess marijuana with intent to distribute.


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