Five deputies suspended: Standard agency procedure



Marion County, Ocala News, Banner, Newspaper
Photo by Ocala Post

Ocala, Florida — The Marion County Sheriff’s Office suspended five deputies yesterday for potential excessive use of force on one of the drug dealers arrested in a drug raid that took place on August 7, 2014, shortly after 5 a.m.

Derrick Price, 43; Eddie Perez, 36; K.C. Starks, 42; Marcus Starks, 35; Nicole Radank, 33; and Mary Pressley, 23, were arrested during the raid on a mountain of drug charges involving oxycodone, hydrocodone, Xanax, methadone, cocaine, and weapons. Thousands of dollars in cocaine and oxycodone pills, and more than $39,000 in cash were seized.

Pressley was not named in the warrant, however, she was present at the location due to the fact she is in a relationship with Marcus.

Actual amount:

Agents seized 147 grams of cocaine, valued at $7,000; 815 illegally diverted pharmaceutical drugs of various types, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, valued at $21,000; ten (10) grams of marijuana, valued at $100; cash totaling $39,340 ; drug paraphernalia, including cocaine and pill presses, scales, and distribution packaging materials; one (1) high-powered assault weapon; ten (10) small arms handguns (various makes, models, and calibers); a cache of ammunition (various calibers); a black 2010 Nissan Maxima; a black 2008 BMW 5-Series; a black 2010 GMC Denali; a silver 2007 Mercedes E-Series; a black 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 1000 motorcycle; one (1) 2014 Triple Crown flatbed trailer; two (2) 2010 Sea-Doo Jet Skis; and seven (7) flat screen televisions (various models and sizes).

Very few have shown sympathy for those arrested.

Ron Zupancic wrote, “Excessive? The penalty in at least half the countries in the world for such drug dealing is death. How liberal we have become. Next Emeril will be cooking at the jail.”

Local business owner, Nigel W. Billingsworth wrote, “Oxycodone, cocaine and thousands of dollars in cash? Always a shame to see the constabulary picking on innocent citizens. I’ll bet those fellows were on their way to church when the police decided to hassle them. Happens to me every time I’m minding my own business and just happen to have copious amounts of drugs and cash on hand.”

Kiani Cirilo wrote, “Ignorance still exists wit all these comments…… Everybody has been in some s**t before so don’t be so quick to judge these are good ppl who messed up they INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY…… stop judging ppl by wat you read!!!!!!”

According to court documents, because of the previous arrest history for Price and the Starks brothers, a conviction is more than likely.

In Florida, if convicted, they could potentially be facing ten years in prison.

In comparison to other states, Florida’s penalties for drug offenders are weak and law abiding citizens feel they should be stiffened.

While serving a search warrant on Derrick Price, deputies learned that Price had three (3) outstanding felony warrants for his arrest. Price had been on the run for quite some time.

As units arrived on the scene, Price ran out the rear of his residence in an attempt to flee. Deputy Collins and K-9 “SIG” tracked Price to the 100 block of Marion Oaks Blvd. and was captured by Deputies Terrell, Crawford, Hoppell, and Fitzgerald.

Deputy Amidei arrived on the scene and observed the aforementioned deputies attempting to handcuff Price as [he] resisted arrested. According to reports, Price ignored several orders to stop resisting.

Terrell, Crawford, Hoppell, Fitzgerald, and Amidei were suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.

It was the decision of Sheriff Blair to initiate the investigation in accordance with agency policy.

Official press release from the MCSO:

On Thursday, August 7, 2014, five (5) officers with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the execution of five (5) search warrants and five (5) arrest warrants.

During this time, a use of force was used by these officers to affect an arrest of one of the wanted subjects.

As a result of the agency’s standard use of force review, the Sheriff’s Office discovered that video existed depicting the officers actions which appeared to be potentially excessive. Sheriff Blair and his senior staff were briefed about the circumstances regarding this use of force, as well as reviewing the videotaped evidence.

Upon reviewing this information, immediate action was taken by Sheriff Blair to suspend all five (5) officers involved in this arrest without pay. And at the request of Sheriff Blair, contact was made with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to conduct an investigation of the incident who will work in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office.

Sheriff Blair has taken swift action concerning these allegations of misconduct and does not and will not condone inappropriate conduct.

The agency is unable to comment further concerning the investigation other than the investigation is on-going by FDLE.


Price, along with the Starks brothers have more than 20 years of felony arrest history with more than 100 charges combined.

The States Attorney’s Office has categorized them as career criminals.