ESCAMBIA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and Pensacola Police Department both made arrests this week for drug charges.
DeWayne Mitchell Starling, 42, was arrested by PPD on Aug. 30, for trafficking amphetamine, Stephanie Deanna McSwain was arrested as well for two counts of possession of drugs and possession of drug equipment, while Akeem Keshun Watson, 26, was arrested by ECSO Sept. 1, for possession of cocaine with intent to sell and two counts of possession of opium with intent to sell.
On Aug. 30, officers said while patrolling, they observed a gold Toyota Avalon on North Pace Blvd. After conducting a search for prior incidents with the vehicle, deputies said they located a driver’s license number for Starling and it showed the license was suspended since July 2, 2020.
Officers said once they activated their lights and sirens, it took several blocks for Starling to pull over. Once pulled over, K-9 Jones positively alerted on the vehicle for the smell of narcotics, according to the arrest report.
Stuffed under the driver seat was a black Prada bag containing approximately 23 grams of meth, a clear plastic bag containing approximately four grams of marijuana, a small plastic bag containing one orange Xanax pill, a small green cup with residue and a document titled “Florida Pawnbroker Transaction Form,” according to the arrest report.
Officers said in the back seat of the vehicle the following items were found, a gray backpack was located with a black weighmat scale with residue, approximately 20 grams of heroin, 21 unused small plastic baggies, small cardboard straw with residue, a marijuana grinder with residue, a small glass jar with approximately one gram of unknown substance, two clear straws with residue, a box of unused sandwich baggies and a small white envelope, which contained a “Chime” bank card statement with Starling listed on it.
Behind the passenger seat, next to McSwain’s belongings, officers said they found a blue container was located with the following items found inside, a clear plastic baggie containing .5 grams of meth, which was inside an empty pack of classic menthol cigarettes, a plastic baggie containing approximately one gram of spice, one gram of spice wrapped in tin foil and a clear glass pipe with residue. Tied to the handle of the blue box was a Puma purse, which McSwain claimed belonged to her, according to the arrest report.
On Sept. 1, ECSO deputies said they were out conducting a routine patrol near the area of Utreiner Avenue and Lepley Road when they observed a white 2021 Chevrolet Malibu fail to completely stop at a stop sign.
After asking Watson to step out of the vehicle, deputies said they gave a pat down and felt a small, hard, bulky substance through his pants over his right, front pants pocket, which deputies said was immediately apparent that it was narcotics. The deputies said they reached into Watson’s pocket and felt a plastic baggie and a hard substance, and as they did this, they felt Watson’s arms tense up. Out of fear that he would flee, deputies said they put Watson into handcuffs before extracting the baggie with the hard substance.
Inside the plastic baggie, deputies said they found a clear, rock-like substance. In another baggie, deputies said they found multiple white pills with imprints of RP 10325 and T258 stamped on them. Deputies then used Drugs.com’s pill identifier function and were able to identify six pills as Acetaminophen and Oxycodone Hydrochloride, and 10 pills as Acetaminophen and Hydrocodone Bitartrate. Deputies also found empty sandwich bags, digital scales and $1,110.
According to the arrest report, a records check was done on Watson, and he was currently on probation for Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Sell until Jan. 6, 2026.
Starling was booked into the Escambia County Jail on a $35,000, McSwain was booked on a $7,000 bond and Watson was booked on a $45,000 bond.