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FCSO Arrests Resident for Cannabis Trafficking, Sparking Community Discussion


PALM COAST – The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office arrested 30 year-old L Section resident Nathan Soares on Friday after a search warrant led to the discovery of 42 pounds of marijuana in his residence. Soares was taken to jail on Friday morning and released after posting $50,500 bond.

Soares was released after posting bond Friday afternoon. ⓒ FCSO

The charges against Soares were misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia/Equipment, and two felonies: Controlled Substance Trafficking, and Marijuana Trafficking in Excess of 25 lbs or 300 plants. Each of the two felonies amounted for $25,000 in bond individually. Soares has no priors in Flagler County prior to his Friday arrest.


The arrest came as somewhat controversial when the FCSO posted its press release to social media. Many commenters applauded the Sheriff’s Office for busting a Schedule One dealer, while others called it a waste of resources to pursue a drug which is in the process of becoming legal in more and more areas. Soares himself pleaded to deputies that he’d only been selling marijuana out of the house, an argument which Sheriff Rick Staly rebuffed: “Illegal narcotics are illegal no matter what they are.”

The items seized from Soares’s home by the FCSO. ⓒ FCSO

Palm Coast is home to multiple dispensaries of legalized cannabis products, such a location of Trulieve off Old Kings Road; Trulieve sells medical marijuana and CBD to consumers. It requires only the possession of a medical marijuana card, which is obtainable from a primary care physician if a qualifying medical condition is present. Still, as marijuana products grow increasingly accessible, the Flagler Sheriff’s Office argues that Soares was a necessary arrest.

Graphic in fair use via Wikipedia.

“Often drug dealers attract home invaders because of the cash and drugs they keep inside a home, which can led to deadly outcomes,” Staly continued. “They also destroy the quality of life for their neighbors so busting them and putting them out of business will always be a priority for the FCSO no matter what they are selling.”

In addition to the 42 pounds of marijuana, Soares was also found with 5.5 pounds of THC edibles, around 148 grams of THC oil, and equipment like scales and bags. Special Investigations deputies seized over $23,000 cash from Soares.

As shown in the attached graphic, recreational marijuana is legalized in 18 states, along with three territories. Selling marijuana in these states usually requires obtaining a license to do so. Florida has long been a state which is anticipated to be pivoting towards full legalization, but as of 2022 only medical use is permitted. The FCSO’s arrest of Soares was legally justified, but the dichotomy of different states’ attitude toward recreational marijuana possession and sale is stark in cases like these.

Written By

Chris Gollon is a Flagler County resident since 2004, as well as a staple of the local independent music scene and avid observer of Central Florida politics, arts, and recreation.



  1. Jane Gentile-Youd

    February 12, 2022 at 2:54 pm

    If pot is made legal look at all the tax dollars we could profit from. Floriduh deserves its name. Pot does not kill; nobody has ever died from an overdose. Pot is NOT addictive ( yes wanting to have it is not an addiction). What a shame that our antiquated laws are to blame for this guy making all this money.

    • TR

      February 12, 2022 at 4:17 pm

      Sorry but you are wrong as far as your comment on addition. Based on your comment,that means that if someone wants a drink every hour they are not an alcoholic, yea right. Or if someone smokes a pack or more of cigerettes they don’t have an addition, yea right. Thanks to the FCSO to shut this guy down. Also the bond was nothing to him. That.s why he was able to post it as fast as he did. It’s probable what he would call chump change based on what he was making.

      • Tom H

        February 13, 2022 at 12:24 pm

        We keep alcohol legal and more people suffer from addiction to it than to marijuana. LEGALIZE and use the tax dollars to fund teacher raises and middle class tax breaks! Get the government OUT of my consumption choices!

  2. BillG

    February 12, 2022 at 3:19 pm

    IMO way to go FCSO. It’s NOT their prerogative to pick and choose what laws to enforce. Should pot be made legal???? I guess that’s up to us on who we vote into elected office. I personally don’t care if it is. As Jane said think of the tax dollars it will bring in. Also if it was legal he still could/should have some legal trouble for selling such out of his home and or failure to pay taxes on his “earnings”.

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