Reported by Dave D’Marko
ORLANDO -- A City Council candidate with a platform against drug abuse has been arrested, accused of trafficking hydrocodone.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Ezell “E-Z” Harris was arrested on charges relating to the powerful prescription narcotic found in such prescription drugs as Vicodin.
Harris is running against Orlando Commissioner Daisy Lynum for her District 5 seat in a March 2010 election.
Agents with the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation said they conducted a four-month investigation, where they made controlled buys from Harris at his Orlando home and his Internet travel business based in Parramore.
The MBI said Harris sold oxycodone, methadone and Xanex -- three leading killers from drug abuse, all ahead of cocaine, according to the Florida Medical Examiner’s Office.
Harris apparently knew the killing power of the drugs, as the information is still posted on his Web site, where he said how more needs to done to stop prescription drug abuse.
Authorities said they were still sifting through evidence seized at Harris’ home and business, but he currently faces four charges, including trafficking and possession.
Harris’ posted bond late Friday night, and was quite outspoken as he walked out of jail, saying someone was out to get him.
“I’m here because of political, you can say, persecution, but I think it’s a political vendetta that I ended up here,” Harris said. “So that’s basically what I have to say about that. It won’t happen again. I’ll keep a sharper eye, but people need to know what took place, and that my campaign was a very serious campaign, and they feared that I would win.”
Harris said he will make a decision on his political future over the weekend, but said his name will still be on the ballot.
Candidate Suspends Campaign After Drug Bust
Reported by Dave D’Marko
ORLANDO -- Less than 48 hours after being arrested on drug trafficking charges, Ezell “E-Z” Harris said he is suspending his City Council campaign.
Harris was sitting in his office Thursday, when drug agents stormed in.
“They threw a couple of grenades in here. One caught on fire,” Harris told News 13. “I was down on the floor. There was a lot of smoke.”
Harris said the charges that he was trafficking prescription painkillers, including Xanax, methadone, and oxycodone, were just a smokescreen for a political vendetta that began when he launched a Web site using Orlando police Chief Val Demings’ name to solicit donations for his campaign for Council.
No one from the police department or the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation could be reached for comment Saturday morning.
Harris, though, told News 13 MBI agents ransacked his business and seized $80,000 of his property.
“What reasons would they have to take a citizen’s medication that’s suffering from illness?” Harris said.
Harris would not comment on the charges, but said he saw the irony, since one of the reasons he wanted to be Councilman was to help people with addicitons.
“That was my platform,” Harris said. “We know that the No. 1 killer in Florida when it comes to drugs is prescription drugs.”
Harris sunk $30,000 into the campaign, none of which he said came from drug sales.
Now, he said he has to invest his time and money on his legal battle.
“I must first fight for E-Z Harris,” he said. “I’m better as a free man than one would be behind bars.”
Though he has suspended his campaign, Harris said he would not give up his fight for the people of Orlando’s 5th District.
“They drew first blood, as it were,” Harris said. “I put my trust in God. I will have my day in court.”
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Tags: Orlando, ezharris, ezell, harris, candidate, city, council, campaign, drugs, antidrug, anti-drug, e-z, val, demings
Location: Orlando, Florida, United States (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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