Duo Arrested for Selling Drugs

                                NEWS RELEASE #: 17-070 - MARCH 3, 2017

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested two men Thursday afternoon on felony drug charges after they sold cocaine and a heroin substitute to undercover detectives.

The investigation began in early February when Special Investigation Section detectives met with 19-year-old Christopher Austin at the 1900 block of Fruitville Road in Sarasota to purchase cocaine. When detectives met with Austin again in late February to purchase cocaine and heroin, he sold them cocaine and levallorphan, an opioid modulator. At a third transaction, Austin was joined by 21-year-old Michael Cheaves and the pair sold 1.3 grams of cocaine to undercover detectives. Tactical Unit deputies assisted with the surveillance and arrests, and Austin and Cheaves were taken into custody without incident.

Austin's prior charges include Domestic Battery, Violation of Probation and Failure to Appear stemming from prior charges. Cheaves' prior arrests include Violation of Probation related to drug crimes and Failure to Appear, also related to drug crimes.

Austin, of 1438 20th Street in Sarasota, is charged with three counts of Sale of Rock Cocaine: Schedule II and Sale of Levallorphan In Lieu of Heroin. He remains in custody on $24,000 bond. Cheaves, of 2558 22nd Street in Sarasota, is charged with Sale of Rock Cocaine (Principle). He was released Friday morning on $7,500 bond.

Austin Christopher_26a095548bb13b42d0edd8ef3f8128a5
Christopher Austin

Cheaves Michael_6b327e27df8d1e4728985b859553505a
Michael Cheaves