Couple Charged in Connection with Carfentanil Delivery

                                                                                                                                   NEWS RELEASE 17-191

                                                                           Bennett, Michael     Steffes, Trisha
                                                                                                          Bennett                                                                                    Steffes

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security, charged a Sarasota couple Friday with Delivery of Carfentanil.

Detectives were first contacted by the Department of Homeland Security about a package believed to contain fentanyl, being shipped internationally to an address in Sarasota. Once intercepted, the package was taken for forensic testing where a clear bag containing a white, powdery substance was discovered to be positive for carfentanil.  The package was delivered just before 6:00 p.m. to the intended address in the 4000 block of Proctor Road. Upon delivery, Michael Bennett, DOB 07/11/78, and Trisha Steffes, DOB 02/27/81, accepted the package and took it inside while detectives watched from a nearby location. Minutes later, a search warrant was executed on the residence where Bennett and Steffes were detained and admitted to knowing the package contained carfentanil. During a subsequent search of the house, more than seven grams of fentanyl were discovered in a false electrical outlet, along with other drugs and paraphernalia located in their bedroom.

Both were charged with Delivery of Carfentanil, Possession of Fentanyl with Intent to Sell, and Possession of Paraphernalia. Bennett, having a prior arrest stemming from a charge for Culpable Negligence, was released Saturday on a $15,500 bond. Steffes was additionally charged with Possession of Oxycodone and was released Sunday on a $17,000 bond.