Crime

Two-time prison inmate busted on Big Pine on felony drug counts

When local, state and federal police come knocking on your door, you know it's not going to end well.

Joseph Pilotti, 49, of Big Pine Key learned that at 2:30 p.m. Thursday when he was arrested on numerous felonies for drug sales and possession.

Law enforcement says during a search of Pilotti's home at 31011 Avenue I, they found cocaine, marijuana, pills, drug paraphernalia, ammunition and $4,795 in cash. The search under a warrant signed by a judge followed tips the Monroe County Sheriff's Office received through Crime Stoppers of the Florida Keys, and complaints from neighbors.

Pilotti is charged with three counts of selling cocaine within 1,000 feet of a "specified area," using a two-way communications device to facilitate a felony, cocaine possession, marijuana possession, possession of a controlled substance and being a felon possessing a weapon, all felonies. A drug-paraphernalia count is a misdemeanor.

In 2008, Pilotti was sent to state prison for a year and two months following a conviction for selling cocaine. In 1999, he was sent to prison on two cocaine-sale convictions and one of trafficking in stolen goods. That sentence was a year and a month.

The search of Pilotti's house was conducted by the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Border Patrol, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Air & Marine Operations and the FBI.

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