March 08, 2018
Contact: Public Information Officer
Phone Number: (954) 660-4500
Bradenton Man Sentenced To More Than 10 Years For Drug Trafficking
(TAMPA, Fla..) - Michael Bernard (36, Bradenton) was sentenced to 10 years and five months in federal prison for possessing with the intent to distribute controlled substances. He pleaded guilty on December 13, 2017.
According to court documents, on June 15, 2017, the Drug Enforcement Administration Tampa District (DO) and the Manatee County Sheriff’s (SO) conducted surveillance of known narcotics trafficking locations in Manatee County. They observed a white Buick sedan leaving a suspected drug house and determined that the registered owner of the car had a suspended driver license. As officers attempted to initiate a traffic stop, the vehicle initially kept moving. When it finally stopped, Code exited the passenger side of the car carrying a black object, and fled on foot. The driver, Tony Marvin Johnson, was patted down for weapons, during which a deputy located a pill bottle containing approximately 8.5 grams of a white substance that appeared to be cocaine base. The substance field-tested positive for cocaine. Officers also recovered $237 from a fanny-pack strapped to Johnson’s waistband and another $207 from his front pants pockets.
Shortly thereafter, Code returned to the vehicle and was detained. Witnesses advised law enforcement that they saw Code throw objects on the ground in two separate locations. A search of those locations revealed a black magnetic type box containing the following: a digital scale, a plastic baggy containing Xanax pills, a plastic baggy containing approximately 13.5 grams of suspected fentanyl, a plastic baggy containing 13 smaller baggies with suspected fentanyl weighing approximately 8.2 grams, and a third plastic baggy containing 26 individual small baggies with an off-white powdery (weighing approximately 5.7 grams). The white substance field-tested positive for cocaine. The suspected fentanyl later lab-tested positive for MDMA. Code later told law enforcement that Johnson had told him to run from the car and get rid of the objects. He also stated that he used narcotics and tested narcotics.
Johnson previously pleaded guilty for his role in this case. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 3, 2018.
This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration Tampa DO and the Manatee County SO. It was prosecuted by United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. This case is the result of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task (OCDETF) investigation entitled “Hot Batch.” The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.
More information about this case can be found at http://www.flmd.uscourts.gov or https://ecf.flmd.uscourts.gov