Florida city commission candidate arrested for cocaine trafficking

SWEETWATER, Fla. (UPI) — A Florida city commission candidate arrested in connection with a series of cocaine deals said he was in need of money for his campaign, a police report released Monday said.

Police arrested Jose Mejia, a city commission candidate in the city of Sweetwater, on three counts of trafficking cocaine along with three other men, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced Friday.

The FDLE said it began its investigation into Mejia, 29, after receiving a tip from a confidential informant that Mejia had offered to sell marijuana or cocaine.

Police arrested two other men, Angel Berdecia Campo, 63, and Christopher Laboy, 24, on charges of cocaine trafficking.

A police report released Monday stated the informant said Mejia repeatedly mentioned “needing money for his political campaign,” The Miami Herald reported.

Agents gave the informant $1,800 in bills to buy an ounce of cocaine from Mejia, with the first deal taking place Oct. 11.

Mejia texted the informant to say he was “going to smoke a blunt” before heading to a McDonald’s to make the deal and he later changed the location to a nearby gas station.

Agents said Mejia was wary of being set up by police, adding he told the informant his cocaine source also was nervous about the deal, so the informant was asked to “follow him to another location to ensure he/she was not working with law enforcement” and leave behind a cellphone, which the informant was using to record the conversation.

The informant later told agents Mejia picked up another man before completing the deal outside a residence.

During a second deal at a gas station on Oct. 23 where the informant met with Mejia and Laboy before completing the deal at a nearby residence. The informant was able to record portions of the deal with an undercover recording device.

For the final deal the informant met Mejia at his mobile home to purchase two ounces of cocaine for $3,300. Campo arrived at the deal in a van with the drugs and was later pulled over and arrested by agents who found bills with serial numbers matching those given to the informant.

Police Mejia later at his home and found with $869 in bills that were given to the informant.

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