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Local Drug Arrest May Have A Connection to a Suspected Child Prostitution Ring

10:41 PM, Mar 31, 2004   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, FL-- It's being called the single largest drug operation stopped in the United States. 170 warrants have been issued as part of Operation Candy Box in the U.S. and Canada. Investigators think the suspects are responsible for 15 percent of all ecstasy on U.S. soil. There are 18 people under arrest on the First Coast. One of the suspects was Leonard James Doss. But who is Doss? Police think he may be another connection to a First Coast News Investigation. Authorities raided Doss's house in Wednesday's Operation Candy Box. The I-Team has heard his name before in connection with Eric Longstreth, 46. Longstreth was arrested in Central Florida last month. Authorities say he's part of a suspected child porn and prostitution ring. Police want to question Doss and see if he has ties to the ring. A neighbor who lives next door to Doss told us what she saw this morning. "At first I heard a helicopter going round and round and at first I though there was a plane in trouble. And then I heard this big bang." That noise was the sound of Federal Drug Enforcement agents knocking down the front gates of Doss's home. The neighbor adds, "Everybody was there. The SWAT team and everything. I was shocked. I really was shocked." Doss was one of the 18 people arrested on the First Coast. Agents took a truck full of evidence from his home including computers, floppy disks, and even several cars. Police tell us Doss also may have been using his former car shop as a front for selling drugs. Sheriff John Rutherford of JSO says, "He was one of the major distributors in the Jacksonville area." The name Leonard James Doss is familiar to the J.S.O. It surfaced during a First Coast News exclusive investigation into a suspected child pornography ring on the First Coast. Sheriff Rutherford says Doss is being looked at further, "just in the pornography case that I'm aware of." Police tell us Doss may have ties to 46 year-old Eric Longstreth. He's the man who police say ran away with a 14 year old girl and sold her for sex. Rutherford adds, "Those really are being handled as two seperate investigations. And of course the pornography case is on going and seperate." Our First Coast News investigation has discovered Doss and Longstreth were longtime friends. Doss even had the family of the 14 year old over to his home. Beverly Todd is the victim's mother. She told us about the visit to the home of Leonard Doss. Todd says, "He would only allow certain people in the garage. I tried to peek through to see what he had in there but it was hard to see what he had in there. If someone went in there that wasn't supposed to be in there he would get mad." Now the investigation continues, with police hoping Doss will help them wrap up not one but two seperate investigations. Ruthford says, "I think some of that will come out as it's prosecuted by the U-S Attorney." Doss made his first appearance late Wednesday afternoon in federal court. He faces charges of conspiracy to sell marijuana and ecstasy. That's punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison. Doss's wife Stephanie Doss did not want to comment on her husband's arrest. First Coast News has learned Stephanie is a former Jacksonville Jaguars Roar Cheerleader who was fired after a year on the team for violating policy rules. She has not been charged in connection with the international drug ring.

First Coast News

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