ECSO: Escambia County’s Biggest Ever Marijuana Distributor Arrested, About $2 Million In Assets Seized

August 26, 2021

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has announced the largest marijuana grow and distribution operation ever busted in Escambia County.

Nhan Thanh Vo, 38, was charged with one federal count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance. Additional charges are expected to be forthcoming against Vo, and more arrests are possible, according to Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, Jason R. Coody.

A four-month investigation led to the August 19 service of search warrants at nine locations in Escambia County and two in Santa Rosa County in an operation that was centered around a home in the 7400 block of Klondike Road.

Local and federal investigators seized:

  • 2,156 pounds of the “highest grade” marijuana
  • 24 pounds of spice
  • 18 pounds of THC
  • 32 firearms
  • 12 vehicles (two of which were stolen)
  • $820,000 in cash
  • $150,000 worth of gold bars
  • $750,000 worth of jewelry
  • a tractor
  • a ski boat

Escambia County Sheriff Chip Simmons described it as the largest asset seizure in the history of Escambia County as photos were displayed during a news conference. The photos showed some of the seized items, including  a suitcase containing about a half million dollars, a safe containing weapons, an Audi and a Porsche.

“This is a major drug dealer that has major ties throughout the country,” Simmons said during a Thursday afternoon press conference. “This was a major player in Northwest Florida.”

The sheriff said the investigation began after a series of violent crimes in Escambia County.

“When you deal marijuana at this level, violence will ensue,” he said.

““The days of living large or fancy car driving, speed boat driving, community damaging is over. Your Ric Flair days are over,” Simmons said.

The investigation was conducted by agencies including the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Pensacola Police Department.

Comments

50 Responses to “ECSO: Escambia County’s Biggest Ever Marijuana Distributor Arrested, About $2 Million In Assets Seized”

  1. citizen II on September 2nd, 2021 12:10 am

    Good job! Have you noticed the exponential increase in homeless addicts in this county? I ask one of the homeless and he said five years ago heroin was hard to find in Pensacola and now is readily available. He said he thought that was the reason for such a large increase in the street addicts. The town appears to be in a downward spin with all the beggars on the corners. Trash where they hang out. Too bad. Helped one go from homeless to working and doing better recently so I have a right to talk. Support the drugs and feed the problem. Every addict sees another further along in addiction and justifies they do not really have a problem. Feed the demon/addiction and it gets stronger, Starve the addiction/demon and it gets weaker. In other words, starve the addiction and you help save a person. I listened to your 2 cents worth on the matter and you’ve heard mine.

  2. Mark on September 1st, 2021 1:06 pm

    Well I believe the police did what they had to do especially to get all those weapons off the street. Drug dealer or not no one needs that many weapons. Drugs and weapons don’t mix very well. I have nothing against marijuana I use it myself daily. I looked into getting a medical card and getting it legally but the cost was more than I could afford. So those who posted that it’s all about money is correct. You pay whether you get it legally or you use it and have to pay a dealer what they want for it. I wish the State of Florida would go with the rest of the states out in the Midwest and make it legal so all of us could enjoy the benefits of using marijuana. I am currently recently diagnosed with type b cell large lymphoma and have been going through chemo for the last 6 weeks. So as you can imagine it really does help the effects of the chemo. But I am glad that they got all those weapons off the street so no one gets shot or killed. And I’m glad no police officer was injured in any way during the operation. Legalize marijuana!

  3. John on August 31st, 2021 2:09 pm

    And of course we have the “it’s only marijuana” crowd. Sorry, but marijuana (the gateway drug) leads to meth and other drugs.

  4. J-THE-G on August 31st, 2021 10:07 am

    What a waste of taxpayer money. Weed isnt hurting people, get the meth dealers and the shooters round here then we can worry about this harmless stuff.

  5. Cwchill on August 30th, 2021 9:42 pm

    When is the auction????

  6. 429SCJ on August 30th, 2021 9:20 pm

    This bust explains why all the independent distributors have only midgrade available as their top line product. Everyone is driving the distance to “Truleive to purchase high grade medical marijuana

    2,156 lbs of top shelf, lot of ounces in that. It will take the market at least a couple of weeks to adjust.

  7. Don Dixon Jr on August 30th, 2021 1:53 pm

    Rock On! Escambia Law Enforcement. You are well respected in our beautiful and wonderful ‘Red’ State of Florida

  8. Dreama Brazwell on August 29th, 2021 11:26 am

    How do y’all know he isn’t a violent criminal. That much money, weed, weapons, stolen cars wasn’t acquired from him being a nice guy. Sells WEED today meth or heroin tomorrow. Good job ECSO!

  9. Lenny Potts on August 29th, 2021 11:25 am

    You can tell who the pot heads are on here just by reading the comments.

  10. JC on August 29th, 2021 9:19 am

    If you have a permit, your a dispensary. If you don’t, your a criminal.

  11. GB on August 28th, 2021 4:35 pm

    This is like raiding the candy store when there’s a more serious drugs causing way more violence and death. Where’s the big meth bust, heroine, pills …??

  12. Kc on August 28th, 2021 2:05 pm

    Way to go BLUE!!!

  13. Michal Payton on August 28th, 2021 12:52 pm

    How about We get the methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl off the streets?

  14. Vespasian on August 27th, 2021 10:25 pm

    Nonsense! Think of all the money wasted to fund this “operation”! Man hours and equipment amongst the other items that are needed to run an operation line this one. It’s time to legalize marijuana for private use as well and cut out the illegal drug dealers operating in the dark.

  15. Correction for Chris on August 27th, 2021 9:49 pm

    @Chris.. The reason such stuff is illegal is bc the government and / or Authorities can not TAX IT.. So as long as it is illegal. They can arrest somebody. That person will post bail.. Then they get court costs.. Possible probation. If that is supervised, then u pay probation every month.. And let’s NOT forget about all the money they get to seize. Vehicles.. Boats. Property.. They make a killing this way. Probably more than if they attempted to regulate and Tax it. IT IS ALL ABOUT THAT DOLLAR..!

  16. Dante LaBeaux on August 27th, 2021 6:07 pm

    I’m sure someone ratted this guy out months and months ago. Maybe even last year. How many man hours and millions of dollars got spent running recon for months plus every thing else. Now though you have a return on investment here with all the money and swag they get to seize. It won’t come close to covering the cost of the operation but every little bit helps.
    Pretty bad when the accountants tell them which place to hit or hit first. I could have swore cannabis was legal.

  17. JAnine on August 27th, 2021 5:44 pm

    He was caught with more then Marijuana the amount of SPICE he got caught with is insane for those of you that don’t know spice is marijuana laced with RAT POISON !!!!! JUST THAT’S JUST WRONG!!

  18. Chris J Paul on August 27th, 2021 1:52 pm

    in a few years it will be legal in Fl

  19. Money bags on August 27th, 2021 1:29 pm

    Ok so when yall gonna catch the criminals who shot up Oakwood Terrace Apartments?

  20. Chris on August 27th, 2021 12:27 pm

    Pensacola Streets, it’s because they worship BIG DADDY GOVERNMENT. They’ve been ingrained to love their rulers to the point that they have become dependent upon them. Law Enforcement protecting the community from violence is one thing, this is not that no matter how much they tell you it’s tied to it. That’s just a well thought out preemptive speech by ECSO because they know support for marijuana is strong.
    Personally, I don’t think anything you can ingest should be illegal or regulated. You should be able to put whatever you choose in your body. Doesn’t matter however, they’ll use every tool available, including the internet, to make you even more dependent on them.

  21. NorthEscambia.com on August 27th, 2021 12:13 pm

    “Wonder why he is not on jail view? Would like to see his bond.”

    He is being held without bond, but not in Escambia County. Federal prisoners can be held in numerous locations. He is in Santa Rosa.

  22. JW on August 27th, 2021 11:40 am

    The tractor and the boat are used to hide the bodies…..

  23. ensley boy on August 27th, 2021 11:29 am

    Wonder why he is not on jail view? Would like to see his bond.

  24. RO on August 27th, 2021 11:18 am

    When’s the auction?

  25. Kane on August 27th, 2021 11:10 am

    I get my weed from the biggest drug dealer in Florida, he makes this guy look like small potatoes. Perhaps you’ve heard of him his name is Ron DeSantis but he goes by “Governor”.

  26. Green rocket on August 27th, 2021 10:14 am

    Sounds like some of you lost your dealer.

  27. Jlb on August 27th, 2021 9:53 am

    Sad the people trying to make this ok. Even in Colorado this would be illegal. Yes..large amounts of money..drugs..an weapons…add up to violence. Congratulations to all.

  28. JODY on August 27th, 2021 9:10 am

    Listen everybody, he wasn’t arrested for just selling weed. According to the authorities he was a major distributor across the nation. Read the article again! RICO is very effective in cases like this. Take them all down! and take everything they have.

  29. fisherman on August 27th, 2021 7:48 am

    That’s the way banks move money in bricks like that .In banking terminology that would be 5 bricks. You can’t walk into a bank and deposit that without some explaining.

  30. Diane on August 27th, 2021 7:37 am

    Hey Pensacola Streets, I hope you are being sarcastic. I am so glad the sheriff’s dept. got him. Good job Escambia County.

  31. Is9 on August 27th, 2021 7:35 am

    You arrested someone for some marijuana, and he’s then claim he’s violent. That just pathetic, go do some real police work guys… seriously, that’s an epic fail to waste tax dollars on someone selling marijuana. Shame on you Sheriff

  32. tg on August 27th, 2021 7:30 am

    Why did it take so long to catch him? Many others out there just as bad.

  33. mnon on August 27th, 2021 7:20 am

    LOL Pensacola Streets too funny justifying this. You really must not be up on street politics. Violence does follow big dealers, why because if you were moving in on my territory then I’d have a huge issue with it when millions of dollars are at stake. THAT is where violence comes into play. You think this guy was all up and up trying to make a living? The state is doing it so why not me? Too funny. One day in the future weed may be legal like Colorado, until then you either move or follow the state laws. Trust me I’m a huge advocate for marijuana legalization for recreational use, but I follow my state laws, period. Anything outside that you ARE a criminal and should be shut down. You might want to open a book from time to time.

  34. Jr on August 27th, 2021 4:53 am

    @steeets I see your point but it’s still illegal. Years ago I was caught with some and I used as my defense “God made pot man made booze…who do you trust your honor…didn’t go over too good. It’s illegal and there’s more behind this operation. Maybe this will lead to the arrest of LDs killer(s). Ol Vo was high rolling and he was only involved in pot. The guns and the other items were swag of the trade. The article stated “grown”…was it grown locally or shipped in. That may be where those other charges are going to be coming from. Anyways Mr. Vo..you cannot pass go and I hope they “no bond” you because I can see “take flight” in your eyes.

  35. Steve on August 27th, 2021 3:19 am

    This reply is for the poster “Pensacola streets”

    I too see nothing wrong with people using weed. BUT this guy here is no saint.

    He had stolen cars, and never paid a dime in taxes for all the BUSINESS he has been doing.

    That amount of guns is not so great.

  36. Pensacola streets on August 26th, 2021 11:28 pm

    I don’t see him doing anything wrong on here besides the police saying it was a lot of violence in the city and he ain’t have nothing to do with it. He was getting money and chilling. U see don’t nobody know about him. U guys say he is wrong for selling weed and making money and keeping himself protected. But what is it that the City,State, and Government is doing. They got so many dispensaries open selling weed every day. And it’s ok. It’s no telling how many pounds they got there and it’s no problem but it’s a problem and he’s wrong because he has a lot of weed and money and guns. There is a armed security guard at every dispensary they got guns selling weed but nothings wrong with that. I feel like they should free that man and let him open his own dispensary and stop trying to make people look bad when they are really the bad guys senseless killings and all the harassing.

  37. Janine Singleton Walker on August 26th, 2021 9:46 pm

    This is what our fine sheriff has done in the few short months he’s been in office. Can’t beat our sheriff and chief deputy we have. Way to go sheriff Simmons & chief Lyter!

  38. No Excuses on August 26th, 2021 8:47 pm

    He’s got a federal charge, so, if found guilty, most vehicles, etc will go to auction. It’s not medical marijuana, it’s the illegal stuff and it sounds like a number of violent crimes were committed in the course of this business. If he’s found guilty after all the wheeling and dealing, he’s looking at ten years minimum, but probably more. No parole in federal prison and with the weapons charges, he’ll go to a high security joint, not a camp.

  39. Beach Boy on August 26th, 2021 8:16 pm

    @ RC….I agree….if there is a set bond he’ll flee the country never to be found again. He should be held WITHOUT bond. Get the drugs out of this area and you’ll see crimes go down.

  40. Joshua jenkins on August 26th, 2021 7:46 pm

    He’s not the biggest ever just the one that got caught. It’s definitely more in the area lol

  41. Ali on August 26th, 2021 7:35 pm

    Thank you to all of those involved with the investigation. Drugs are a huge issue in this country and it’s only getting worse. We need many more of these done investigations and raids. I hope the judge makes an example out of him.

  42. Just Me on August 26th, 2021 7:29 pm

    11 locations with all this value at his finger tips….ECSO best make sure he stays behind bars cause at the blink of a eye he will vanish back into society…Ole Vo seems to be a very serious player in the way to make cash…Life in prison best for him

  43. Get ‘em all on August 26th, 2021 6:51 pm

    A tractor? Hmmmm. Buried treasure or…… ESCO, might want to do a double check for freshly excavated dirt.

  44. A.W.Thompson on August 26th, 2021 6:46 pm

    Show us what a ton of weed looks like,or medicine as its known as now.

  45. J&L on August 26th, 2021 6:40 pm

    They should auction everything along with Morgan’s self statue. It would make a fine anchor for that boat.

  46. S.M. on August 26th, 2021 6:21 pm

    Auction date please!

  47. Just Me on August 26th, 2021 6:15 pm

    I want the boat

  48. End the Drug War on August 26th, 2021 6:14 pm

    So this guy is providing what is legal in half the country. End this insane drug war.

  49. J.Larry Seale on August 26th, 2021 6:05 pm

    some dam liberal judge
    will let him off with time served
    and tell not to do it again……….

  50. RC on August 26th, 2021 5:11 pm

    I’d like to have that tractor. He won’t be needing it where he’s headed. I’ll bet if he bonds out he’ll flee the country. He’s looking at some SERIOUS time.





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