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Florida Man, Family Torches His Impounded Vehicle To Destroy Evidence

PENSACOLA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – A career criminal Florida man was convicted by jury on multiple offenses after court records detailed his attempt to break into a law enforcement impound lot with his sister and nephew, setting ablaze his vehicle which contained evidence of his crimes.

Credit: OCSO | CW44 News At 10

Late Wednesday afternoon, a federal jury in Pensacola convicted Tony M. Streeter, of Fort Walton Beach, on multiple drug charges, firearms offenses, and a conspiracy to commit arson related offense. The convictions followed a three-day jury trial that began Monday morning.

In August 2019, following an undercover methamphetamine purchase from Streeter, law enforcement executed a search warrant at his residence in Fort Walton Beach. Among other items seized from his residence, law enforcement seized his 2012 Mercedes SUV and placed it in a secured impound lot at the Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office for further processing.

Within approximately 72 hours of the vehicle being placed in the law enforcement impound lot, it was set ablaze. Evidence presented at trial revealed that Streeter conspired with his sister, Betty Joe Streeter, and his nephew, William Sims, to break into the secured impound lot under the cover of darkness and attempt to locate and remove a hidden firearm and drugs from Streeter's SUV.

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After recovering a hidden stash of methamphetamine from Streeter's SUV, Streeter then instructed Sims to set the vehicle ablaze in hopes of destroying any remaining evidence. Despite their efforts, a loaded firearm was later located in the burned vehicle when searched by law enforcement. Betty Joe Streeter and William entered guilty pleas related to this case and await sentencing.

"The evidence introduced at trial not only demonstrated Streeter's efforts to avoid responsibility for his crimes, but his willingness to engage his family members in additional criminal conduct," said Acting U.S. Attorney Coody. "Moreover, he endangered the safety of Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office employees when he instructed his sister and nephew to break into the impound lot and set fire to his seized vehicle."

The jury found Streeter guilty of distribution of methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, conspiracy to maliciously damage or destroy by fire his Mercedes SUV, and possession with intent to distribute heroin.

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Streeter's sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 29, 2021, at the U.S. Courthouse in Pensacola. Based upon the offenses of which he was convicted, and his prior criminal convictions in state court for drug trafficking and crimes of violence, Streeter faces up to life in federal prison.

"It's rewarding to help take a violent career criminal who peddled poison in our community off the streets, someone willing to mastermind invading a law enforcement facility to destroy evidence and cover his tracks," said Eric Aden, Okaloosa County Sheriff. "Our region is much safer because of the joint efforts that went into making him accountable for his crimes."



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