Fentanyl, cocaine, stolen motorcycles seized in drug busts

PHOTO PROVIDED BY INDIAN RIVER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Deputies jailed five men in separate narcotics probes that netted fentanyl, methamphetamine, cocaine, two stolen motorcycles and two stolen golf carts, officials said.

Deputies targeted felony offenders in each incident Thursday, officials said. The five men charged were:

  • Dean James Lang, 40, of the 300 block of 18th Avenue, Vero Beach, charged with possession of cocaine and possession of buphrenorphine. Held on $10,000 bond.
  • George Michael Ercolin Jr., 37, of the 3100 block of U.S. 1, Vero Beach, charged with three counts of possession of controlled substance, tamper with or destroy evidence, two counts of possession of firearm by a convicted felon. Held without bond.
  • Mario Johnson, 48, of the 4300 block of 31st Avenue, Vero Beach, charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, two counts of sale of cocaine and two counts of possession of cocaine. Held on $120,500 bond.
  • Stanley Joseph Perrier, 52, of Barefoot Bay, charged with reckless driving (warrant), driving while license suspended (warrant), and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. Held without bond.
  • James Whitaker, 50, of the 8200 block of 133rd Place, Sebastian, charged with four counts of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of firearm with an altered serial number and possession of drug paraphernalia. Held on $117,000 bond.

It was unclear if grand theft charges would be added for the stolen motorcycles and golf carts.

Indian River County deputies conducted a traffic stop Thursday morning on a vehicle in Fellsmere. Lang and Ercolin were in the automobile.

K-9 deputies searched the vehicle and found fentanyl, cocaine, the synthetic drug LSD, methamphetamine, buprenorphine and three firearms, reports show. Deputies arrested Lang and Ercolin.

Ercolin was released from the Florida Department of Corrections earlier this year, reports show. Deputies noted Ercolin has eight past felony convictions, including armed robbery and other violent offenses.

The drug busts continued when the sheriff’s SWAT team searched two homes in Gifford and Roseland. Deputies searched the first home on 31st Avenue and arrested Johnson on drug warrants.

Deputies then went to a residence on 133rd Place, where they arrested Perrier and Whitaker. Inside the home, deputies found methamphetamine, cocaine, oxycodone, three firearms, two stolen Harley Davidson motorcycles and two stolen golf carts, reports show.

The motorcycles were stolen out of Sebastian and Palm Bay, though the dates were not listed, deputies said. The golf carts were stolen out of Sebastian.

Deputies noted Whitaker is a nine-time convicted felon who was released from the Florida Department of Corrections earlier this year.

Photos provided by Indian River County Sheriff’s Office

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