38 year old Raymond Malara was sentenced to nine years in federal prison for trafficking cocaine, fentanyl, and marijuana. The Court also ordered Malara to forfeit $ 37,820, which is traceable to proceeds of the offense. According to court documents, between October 2020 and February 2021, a law enforcement investigation revealed that Malara and others had been distributing cocaine, methamphetamine, fentanyl, and marijuana. As part of the investigation, law enforcement conducted surveillance on Malara and observed him obtaining and distributing narcotics throughout the Middle District of Florida, including his barbershop in Pinellas County, the Westshore Plaza shopping mall in Tampa, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and various other locations.
On January 21, 2021, agents executed a federal search warrant at Malara’s apartment and located cardboard boxes containing vacuum-sealed bags of cocaine and marijuana, scales, and piles of cash stacked next to a money counter. Agents also located several firearms, including two fully loaded automatic rifles with high-capacity magazines and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. Malara had previously been convicted of second-degree murder. Therefore, he is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law. Additionally, agents searched Malara’s vehicle and recovered fentanyl pills and approximately four kilograms of marijuana from the trunk of the car. This operation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration Tampa District Office, with assistance from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office and several other departments.