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Pasco County drug dealer sentenced to life imprisonment

TAMPA, Fla. - Ronald "Shine" Jiles, 48, of Zephyrhills, Fla., was sentenced to life imprisonment today for possessing crack cocaine with intent to distribute, following an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation into cocaine smuggling and distribution in and around eastern Pasco County.

The OCDETF operation was conducted by agents and officers of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the Pasco County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Highway Patrol.

Jiles was found guilty on Sept. 1, and sentenced by U.S. District Judge Steven D. Merryday.

His criminal history, which includes eight prior felony drug convictions, was a basis for the imposition of the life sentence.

According to court documents, in late 2009 and early 2010, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office employed confidential informants to make controlled purchases of crack cocaine from Jiles' residence in Zephyrhills.

On May 21, Pasco County deputies and DEA agents executed a search warrant at Jiles' residence. Officers found him in the master bedroom. During the search, officers found 191 grams of crack cocaine intended for distribution.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher F. Murray.