POINCIANA – It’s been said that as the recession and the collapse of the housing market caused Florida’s unemployment rate to soar, people who once worked full time jobs and lost them have been trying to start their own business and go it on their own.
For two entrepreneurs in Poinciana, though, their choice of a new business landed them in jail today.
“Early this morning, Osceola County Investigative Bureau agents were conducting an operation in Poinciana after receiving information about possible drug activity,” said Twis Lizasuain, public information officer for the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. “Agents were conducting surveillance at a residence located at 81 Andora Court when an occupant from the house fired multiple shots at an undercover vehicle.”
The police car was struck at least once, although no one got injured during this shooting incident. Two men were taken into custody at the scene.
Investigative Bureau agents charged Mariano Echevarria-Sierra, a registered sex offender, and Angelo Fernandez with cultivation of cannabis (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Sierra was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. They were booked in the Osceola County Jail today.
Lizasuain said agents were interviewing the two men, and believe they had been operating a growhouse out of that Poinciana home.
After arresting the two men, agents got a search warrant to enter the residence in response to the top that a possible drug operation was going on there. After searching the home, agents were able to confirm that the two men had a growhouse operation there, because agents recovered approximately 20 marijuana plants from the residence. But the two men are facing more than just drug charges.
“Later today, detectives will charge Sierra and Fernandez with attempted felony murder and shooting into an occupied conveyance,” Lizasuain said.
This drug operation was conducted in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency. The Osceola County Investigative Bureau is a multi-agency task force that includes Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies, officers from the police departments in St. Cloud and Kissimmee, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents who investigate vice, narcotics and organized crime. Despite the arrests, Lizasuain said, agents are still looking into the activities of these two men.
“The investigation is on-going at this time,” Lizasuain said. “More information will be provided as it becomes available.”
Osceola County Sheriff’s detectives are also asking for the public’s help on another local case, identifying two armed carjacking suspects.
The investigation started on Friday, Nov. 18 around 11 a.m. when deputies got a call from a local business, Unique Motorsports at 2695 N. Orange Blossom Trail in Kissimmee.
When they arrived at the scene, a sales associate told the deputies he had met with two customers who wanted to test drive a vehicle from the sales lot. The sales associate and the two men got in the car and drove toward Old Dixie Highway, before pulling over near the intersection of Carroll Street. As they did, one of the men pulled out a handgun and demanded that the Unique Motorsports employee get out of the car. The suspects then sped off toward the Osceola Parkway.
The suspects are described as two black men, being roughly 5 feet, 9 inches to six feet tall, weighing between 150 and 170 pounds, in their early 20’s with no facial hair.
The vehicle that got stolen was a 2005, black Nissan Murano SUV. It was recovered the next day behind a home on Ginwright Court in Kissimmee.
Anyone with information on this robbery is asked to call the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office at 407-348-2222 or Crimeline at 800-423-TIPS (8477).
Calls made to Crimeline remain anonymous, and tips that lead to a felony arrest are eligible for cash rewards of up to $1,000.
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