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Ocala
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Jury convicts two Ocala men on 20 drug trafficking charges

Two Ocala men were recently found guilty by a Marion County jury on a total of 20 counts related to drug trafficking.

Last week, State Attorney for the Fifth Judicial Circuit Bill Gladson announced that after a week-long trial, the two defendants – 42-year-old Ahmar Rashard Porter and 47-year-old Michael Lawrence Robinson – were convicted by a jury on multiple drug-related charges.

Ahmar Rashard Porter (left) and Michael Lawrence Robinson (right)
Ahmar Rashard Porter (left) and Michael Lawrence Robinson (right)

Porter faced charges that included two counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of heroin with intent to sell or deliver, possession of cocaine with intent to sell or deliver, possession of a place for trafficking or sale of a controlled substance, trafficking in heroin, possession of cannabis with intent to sell or deliver, sale of methamphetamine, unlawful use of a two-way communications device to facilitate a felony, and several conspiracy charges.

In addition, Robinson was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, trafficking in heroin, possession of cannabis with intent to sell or deliver, possession of a place for trafficking or sale of a controlled substance, and several conspiracy charges.

The trial stemmed from an investigation that was initiated in 2020 by the Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team (UDEST), which is comprised of Ocala Police Department officers and Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies. The probe targeted suspected drug trafficking activities involving Porter, Robinson, and others, including 43-year-old Lloyd Anthony Kinsler, Jr.

Lloyd Anthony Kinsler, Jr.
Lloyd Anthony Kinsler, Jr.

Kinsler previously entered into a plea agreement and received a 20-year prison sentence.

Evidence presented during the trial of Porter and Robinson, which commenced on April 29, 2024, revealed that both defendants had collaborated with other individuals to traffic narcotics. They used multiple residences in Marion County to store, sell, and distribute multiple drugs including methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana.

Arrests were made during UDEST’s investigation, including individuals who were purchasing narcotics. On October 9, 2020, search warrants were executed at residences linked to Porter and Robinson.

Drugs, weapons, and cash were seized in a sting operation conducted by UDEST agents. Three Ocala men – Ahmar Rashard Porter, Michael Lawrence Robinson, and Lloyd Anthony Kinsler, Jr. – were arrested in connection with this case.

During a search of Porter’s home, UDEST agents seized approximately 7 pounds of methamphetamine, along with cocaine, heroin, firearms, and currency counting machines. Inside a residence belonging to Robinson, agents also found over a pound of methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana.

On the day that the search warrants were executed, Porter and Robinson were arrested and booked into Marion County Jail.

A sentencing hearing for Porter and Robinson will be held on June 6, 2024.