FEB 28 (TAMPA, Fla.) – Mark R. Trouville, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Miami Field Division, and Robert E. O'Neill United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, announces the return of an indictment charging Lydia Santiago (38, Bartow) with conspiracy to distribute and possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of methamphetamine. Santiago also faces one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted on all counts, she faces a maximum penalty of life in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Santiago that the United States intends to forfeit various vehicles and currency seized during the course of the investigation.
According to the indictment, from an unknown date and continuing until approximately February 19, 2013, in Polk County, Santiago possessed and conspired with others to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine and 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine. Law enforcement also seized a Ruger model SR40c .40 caliber handgun from Santiago’s residence. As a previously convicted felon, Santiago is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of the federal criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the DEA Tampa District Office and the Polk County Sheriff's Office.