Pair Indicted for Distributing Hundreds of Pounds of Marijuana

News Release #: 14-053

United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III, announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging Michael Allen Babiarz (42) of Sarasota and Aaron Edwin Remaley (39) of Riverview with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana.

According to the indictment, from at least August 2012 to April 2014, Babiarz and Remaley conspired with each other, and with others, to distribute and to possess with the intent to distribute 100 kilograms or more of marijuana in Sarasota, Hillsborough and Polk counties.

Detectives with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office Special Investigations Section began the investigation which grew to involve the Drug Enforcement Administration, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and Polk County Sheriff's Office.

If convicted, Babiarz and Remaley face a maximum penalty of 40 years in federal prison. There is no parole in the federal system. In addition to significant prison time, federal prosecution results in more rigorous supervision by federal probation officers when felons are released to the community.

The current indictment brings to 12 the number of federal drug and weapons cases initiated by a Sarasota County Sheriff's Office investigation since 2011.