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Monday, June 27, 2022

Ocala couple arrested after UDEST agents seize nearly two pounds of fentanyl

An Ocala couple was arrested after Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team (UDEST) agents seized nearly two pounds of fentanyl, drug paraphernalia, and multiple firearms from their home.

In April 2022, UDEST began investigating 39-year-old Alejandro Mendez and 33-year-old Calah Brooke Sabilona. They were previously arrested in July of 2021 on charges of armed trafficking in fentanyl.

Alejandro Mendez and Calah Brooke Sabilona
Alejandro Mendez (left) and Calah Brooke Sabilona (right)

UDEST agents obtained a search warrant for a local residence that belonged to Mendez and Sabilona. On Thursday, April 7, agents served the search warrant with the assistance of the Ocala Police Department SWAT team.

Mendez and Sabilona were located inside the residence. During a search of the property, agents seized the following:

  • Nearly two pounds of fentanyl.
  • Over six pounds of pill binding powder.
  • Prescription medication.
  • A pill press machine.
  • Three firearms.
  • Over $8,900 in cash.

Mendez agreed to speak with law enforcement and stated that he was the owner of the items that were seized inside the residence. Sabilona declined the invitation to speak with investigators.

Mendez was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail, where he is being held without bond. He is facing felony charges for armed trafficking of fentanyl (28 grams or more), conspiracy to manufacture fentanyl tablets, and ownership, lease, rental, or possession for trafficking of a controlled substance.

A court date for Mendez has been scheduled on Tuesday, May 10 at 9 a.m. according to jail records.

Sabilona was also arrested, transported to Marion County Jail, and she was later released on $86,000 bond. She is facing the same felony charges as Mendez.

A court date has not been scheduled yet for Sabilona, according to jail records.