‘Pill pop’ biggest to date

Published 11:27 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A search warrant executed at an Atmore home Wednesday night uncovered thousands of prescription pills.

A search warrant executed at an Atmore home Wednesday night uncovered thousands of prescription pills.

A search warrant executed Wednesday night yielded what Drug Task Force Agent Scott Walden said was the largest collection of pills and other narcotics his team has ever encountered.

Walden said DTF agents, along with officers from the Atmore Police Department and deputies with the Escambia County Sheriff’s Department, executed the warrant at approximately 6:30 p.m. at the home of Samuel and Gloria Angelo, located at 3636 Highway 31, where they found a total of 4,706 scheduled narcotics, including pills, pharmaceutical injection medications and marijuana.

“We executed the search warrant based on information taken from (Samuel Angelo) arrested earlier today for DUI,” Walden said Wednesday night. “He stated to medics he was accidentally injected with black tar heroin.”

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Walden said his team searched the home using county canine units, which led to the biggest “pill pop” he has seen.

“The dogs alerted on several areas of the house,” Walden said. “We found several thousand pills ranging from Oxycotton to Loratab to Zanex and Tramadol. There were just tons of various pills. Most of it’s not even labeled.”

Walden said the fact that so many different prescription medications were found made it impossible for agents to determine exactly what was found, how many of each pill was present and how much, if any, of the medication was obtained legally at the time of the search.
Gloria Angelo was not arrested Wednesday night, but was taken into custody Thursday. She and her husband were each charged with one count of possession of drug paraphernalia, one count of possession of marijuana in the second degree and nine counts of possession of a controlled substance. Walden said two additional counts of trafficking are likely to be added in the coming days.

In addition to the prescription medication, Walden said approximately two ounces of marijuana was also found in the home, along with drug paraphernalia and blank labeling stickers used for prescription bottles. Walden added that some of the intravenous medications found in the home included Lidocaine, a drug commonly used as a numbing agent, and medication used for epidurals and spinal taps. A total of 85 syringes were also confiscated from the home.

Walden said the couple has lived in Atmore for around two years after moving from Arizona where Gloria Angelo admitted to smuggling narcotics into the U.S. from Mexico.

“Just about every drawer we checked in that house had dope in it in some form,” he said of Wednesday’s bust.

Prescription bottles found in the home included labels from Arizona, New Mexico and Washington state, all areas where Walden said the suspect has lived in the past.

The estimated street value of the prescription pills alone found during Wednesday’s search and seizure is estimated to be between $5,000 and $15,000.

Both Gloria and Samuel Angelo were transported to the Escambia County Detention Center in Brewton where they are awaiting a bond hearing.