Over the past 24 months the St Augustine Police Department has responded 608 times to the M & M Market answering various citizen complaint calls.
Those complaints led to the investigation which revealed the owner’s criminal enterprise of possession and sale of illegal narcotics, racketeering, money laundering, and public assistance fraud.
After an eight month long investigation the St Augustine Police Department is executing a search warrant; seizing all assets, and closing the business.
Four different law enforcement agencies; The St Augustine Police Department, St Johns Sheriff’s Office, The States Attorney’s Office, and The Department of Revenue, cooperated in the investigation through the use of uncover officers, confidential informants, surveillance, and subpoena of financial records, have successfully shut down the alleged criminal enterprise.
The owners are being prosecuted under Florida’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act. Sales figures of $178,213.12 were reported to the Department of Revenue for the first 6 months of 2010, however, the investigation turned up documents suggesting they took in far more than what they reported.
The Act prohibits the acquisition or maintenance of an enterprise through a pattern of racketeering activity or the collection on an unlawful debt and gives police authority to seize assets used in that illegal activity.
Photo credits: © 2010 Historic City News staff photographer